Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.
AFL MASTERS TOUR CONTINUES WITH VICTORY AGAINST GREAT BRITAIN
The 2019 AFL Masters Tour continued on the weekend when Australia played against Great Britain at Wimbledon, another edition of the sporting rivalry between the teams. Following a modified match and training session mid-week with the Sussex Swans in Hove, the Australian side headed to London for their second AFL Test match. After the defeat against France last weekend, the Australian team came out on top with a 49-point victory after having 24 scoring shots compared to Great Britain’s five. On a clear, mild day in the English capital, it was the Australian Masters who dominated with the ball, creating plenty of opportunities, while their defence was resolute against Great Britain. Australia’s inaccuracy, kicking 13 behinds, kept Great Britain in the game but the defence of the Australian side was key to their victory. It was another great day for all involved from both teams, with Australia now heading over to Ireland to compete in two International Rules games to finish off the 2019 tour.
Final Scores (2019 AFL Masters European Tour)
Men’s: Australia (11.13. 79) defeated England All-Stars (5.0. 30).
WINTERTHUR WIN THIRD ANNUAL LIONS CUP
Returning for its third year, the Lions Cup was held over the weekend at the home of the North London Lions in Bounds Green. With over 60 players, coaches and supporters in attendance, North London, Lyon and Winterthur (with a number of Cambridge University players as well) were able to field three mixed 18-a-side teams in what was a good-spirited and hard-fought contest. The games got underway, umpired by Thibaut Picard, the lion who brought the concept of bringing all European lions teams together in 2017 and somewhat fittingly, Lyon ran out comfortable winners against North London. Unfortunately for Lyon, Winterthur were a well-organised unit and jumped out of the blocks early in the second game, building an unassailable lead to set themselves up for a huge last game against North London to decide the eventual winners. Sadly for the hosts, Winterthur were again too strong and kicked away early in the final match with their opponents never really looking like coming back into it as the Winterthur Lions won the 2019 Lions Cup. The highlight for all involved in the cup was the women’s exhibition match following the mixed competition. Fittingly, played between the two original clubs in attendance as a 9-a-side fixture, the girls left nothing behind as pride and bragging rights were on the line. Unlike their mixed counterparts, the North London Lionesses managed to keep pace with their Lyon opponents until the very last minute when the French Lionesses managed to sneak in front by a point and take home the first-ever Lioness cup.
HAMBURG DOCKERS TEAM TO BEAT IN AFLG
In the AFLG, the second half of the season is well underway and last weekend saw the Berlin Crocodiles host the Hamburg Dockers in a battle between first and second. The game was a close game throughout three quarters as both teams battled hard in a physical contest. It wasn’t until late in the game during the last quarter that the fitness and experience of the Dockers started to gain ascendancy as they managed to kick six goals in the final term to finish as 45-point winners. Both teams showed why they are the top two teams, with some quality football being played across the field but the Dockers were just too strong in the end even after the Crocodiles took the game right up to them. The league takes a break this week, but Round 8 takes place on the 27th of July before finals begin towards the end of August.
Final Scores (AFLG)
Men’s: Berlin Crocodiles (52) defeated by Hamburg Dockers (97).
SCORPIONS STING IN AFL ENGLAND WOMEN’S
The AFL England Women’s season continued on Saturday in Wolverhampton with round two seeing the Nottingham Scorpions, Cardiff Panthers and Bristol Dockers battle it out, while the Sussex Swans had a bye. As well as competing for the premiership, there is the added incentive of qualifying for next years Champions League for the team who finishes first. With plenty of fresh talent in each side, it was an exciting day to see the continued growth and improvement of the women’s game in England, with the Dockers making their debut in the tournament while the Panthers and Scorpions are back following last season. In the second round, it was the Scorpions who came out on top. In their game against the Dockers, the Scorpions showed their attacking strength and ruthlessness as they won by 112 points. Despite the scoreline, the Dockers managed to get on the scoreboard against the Scorpions, who took home bronze in the 2019 Champions League. Against such quality opposition, the Dockers would have learnt plenty about themselves and where they can improve going forward. The competition will continue over the next couple of months, with more footy action to come in the 2019 season.
Final Scores (AFL England Women’s)
Women’s: Nottingham Scorpions (118) defeated Bristol Dockers (6).
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