Leeside Lions have retained their ARFLI Premiership after defeating South Dublin Swans last week in the Grand Final at the Mardyke Arena in Cork City. Their win means they have now won back to back titles, a feat last achieved by South Dublin Swans, who won the 2010 and 2011 titles.
The game played on the long and wide Mardyke oval on a near perfect day for footy with only a slight breeze blowing from the north and dry conditions. The Lions opened well in a keenly contested Grand Final between the 2016 and 2015 champions. At quarter time the Lions were up by two goals 1.2 to 3.2. The second quarter saw the Lions extend their lead kicking another 3.2 to leave the half-time score in favour of the Munster men 6.4 40 to 2.4 16. At this stage the Lions had opened up a significant lead.
The third quarter was a good one for the Lions as they added five goals to the Swans two that gave them a commanding seven goal advantage at three-quarter time. The Swans threw everything they had at it in the final quarter and won the quarter 2.1 to 2.0, however it didn’t put much of a dent in the score line with the Lions running out 13.7 85 to 6.5 41 winners. Lions captain and ARFLI President, Dominic Joyce was awarded the John Lock O’Sullivan Cup from umpire Brent Morrison with Lions veteran midfielder Ian O’Sullivan being awarded the best on ground.
So now the Lions can look forward to another trip to Amsterdam to represent ARFLI in the AFL Europe Champions League next Spring, where last year they were beaten semi-finalists. The Swans can also be happy with their year, although not Premiers, they put in a good effort in the Grand Final with both teams displaying fine skills on the big day.
1st Quarter Swans 1.2 Lions 3.2
2nd Quarter Swans 2.4 Lions 6.4
H/T Swans 16 Lions 40
3rd Quarter Swans 4.4 Lions 11.7
4rd Quarter Swans 6.5 Lions 13.7
Full Time Swans 41 Lions 85
Images from the Grand Final (thanks to Grand Final photographers Tammy Ross, Peter Daly and Ravnita Joyce)