The past two weekends saw the semi and preliminary finals of the 2016 AFL London season decided.
The major semi-finals took place on Saturday 23rd July at Clapham Common, with the winners progressing straight through to the grand finals. The minor semi-finals were hosted at Peckham Rye on Sunday 24th July, with the winners progressing to Saturday 30th July’s preliminary finals.
AFL London Semi-Finals: Saturday 23rd July & Sunday 24th July
In the Social division the Wandsworth Demons faced the West London Wildcats’ thirds team, the Ealing Emus. Running the match out 11.2 (68) to Ealing 10.1 (61) the Demons headed straight through to the grand final.
Meanwhile, the Reading Roos and the Wimbledon Hawks took to the pitch on Sunday 24th down at Peckham Rye to determine who would head through to the prelims against the Emus. The Reading Roos were too strong for the Hawks and won by a convincing 37 points: Roos 11.9 (75) to Hawks 6.2 (38).
The Conference division saw the Wandsworth Demons hold on for victory against the West London Wildcats’ seconds team, the Shepherd’s Bush Raiders, to progress through to the grand final, with the final score reading: Wandsworth Demons 11.9 (75) to Shepherds Bush Raiders 3.2 (20).
Down at Peckham Rye on the Sunday, the South East London Giants took on and beat the North London Lions by 51 points, with the final score seeing South East London Giants 14.16 (90) defeat North London Lions 5.9 (39). It left the Giants to take on the Shepherds Bush Raiders in the prelim finals.
The Women’s division saw the undefeated Wimbledon Hawks dominant against North London, showing that their strength more than continued through to the Finals. With the final score reading: Wimbledon Hawks 10.1 (61) to North London Lions 4.2 (26).
The Hawks flew into the grand final leaving the Wandsworth Demons and South East London Giants to nut it out on the Sunday. The Demons were too strong from the Giants, winning 6.6 (42) to the Giants 5.8 (38). The Demons progressed through to the prelims to fight it out with the Lions.
The Premiership game consisted of old time rivals, the West London Wildcats and the Wandsworth Demons. The Wildcats asserted their dominance and won the match by 23 points, holding the lead all day. The final score read: West London Wildcats 9.10(64) to Wandsworth Demons 8.4 (52), leaving the Demons with a second chance against the winner of the Sunday final.
The Lions took on the Wimbledon Hawks on neutral ground down in Peckham. A hard fought match, it saw the first quarter evenly contested before the Lions ran away and dominated the next three quarters. The final score: North London Lions 12.17 (89) to Wimbledon Hawks 8.11 (59), unfortunately ending grand final hopes for the Hawks.
Preliminary Finals – Saturday 30th July
In the Social division, the Reading Roos took on the West London Wildcats’ Ealing Emus at Dukes Meadow. Underdogs coming into the final, the Reading Roos ran out the match against the Emus by 15 points to head into the grand final against the Wandsworth Demons next week. After being down by 1 point at half time, a strong second half saw the final score read: Reading Roos 7.7 (49) to Ealing Emus 5.4 (34).
The Conference match consisted of reigning premiers, the Shepherds Bush Raiders, and the South East London Giants fight it out to see who would take on the Wandsworth Demons this coming Saturday, 6th August.
The Giant’s gave it their best shot but unfortunately went down to the Raiders by 10 goals. The final score read: Shepherds Bush Raiders 14.7 (91) to South East London Giants 5.1 (31).
The Women’s division saw the North London Lions take on the Wandsworth Demons.
In a thrilling nail-biter, the Lions managed to advance through to the grand final in a mere 1-point victory over the Demons and will now face the undefeated Wimbledon Hawks. The final score: North London Lions 3.3 (21) to Wandsworth Demons 3.2 (20).
The Premiership division match was a showdown between the Wandsworth Demons and North London Lions. With both teams hungry from the bounce, the first half proved neither the Lions nor Demons were ready to give up. It wasn’t until the Premiership quarter that the Demons were able to pull away and show their strength. Despite a late fourth quarter comeback by the men from the north, the final score line had the Demons 11.8 (74) defeating the Lions 8.5 (53).
Grand finals – Saturday 6th August
All grand finals will take place at Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Recreation Ground (Motspur Park):
10.30am – Social: Wandsworth Demons v Reading Roos
12pm – Conference: Wandsworth Demons v Shepherds Bush Raiders
2pm – Women’s: Wimbledon Hawks v North London Lions
3.30pm – Premiers: West London Wildcats v Wandsworth Demons
Words and photos: Sarah Ongarello