Swans in Grand Final

September 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

South Dublin Swans LogoIt’s a big week for my club the South Dublin Swans as we contest the ARFLI Grand Final this coming Saturday against Leeside Lions.  The Swans are the reigning Premiers and have got to this stage after finishing second in the ladder just behind the Lions.  Our semi-final last weekend against the Mid-West Magpies was a tight affair in wet and windy conditions.  Eventually the Swans managed to get a crucial winning goal late in the last quarter to win 4-17 41 to 6.0 36.  It wasn’t a pretty win and the behind count was a little ugly but we’ll take the win against what was a very gutsy effort by the Pies.

The Leeside Lions had a much smoother path to the final with an easy win over the Dublin Demons and are expected to be a very tough challenge in the final to be played at 2pm on Saturday in Durrow, Co Laois.

It’s great to get to the Grand Final after a year’s hard work by all the players and support staff involved.  But what’s important now is putting in a performance on the big day that is worthy of the work we’ve done to date.  In the two finalists only full duration meeting this year the under strength Swans  lost but put in a determined effort to run the Lions close. 

The Lions have lots of quality and experience in their side with the likes of 2011 International Cup winners Cian Quigley and Eoin O’Suilleabhain.  They will be joined by 2011 International capped Vince Manning and the speedster Rob Armstrong and also previous Irish Internationals Ian O’Sullivan and Brian O’Connell.  As well as having the experience they also have some promising young players such as Muiris Bartley who played in the U-18 World team in Australia this summer and Brain Roche who is a big strong fielder of the ball who will also be appearing for Ireland at the Euro Cup in Belfast in October.

Marty Ryan clears the ball in this year's game v the Lions

The Swans have lost a few players from last year’s team including big ruckman Paul O’Halloran however another big man, Tom Russell has had a fine year in that position.  Also new in 2011 is Freddie Romar, a former Finnish international who played in the 2008 International Cup.  The Swans had three players that played in the 2011 International Cup, Manus Breathnach, James O’Byrne and Darren Sheils and their experience should be important on final day.  The Swans can also draw on the finals experience of club legends such as Marty Ryan and Eddie Warren and the aussie contingent including player coach David Scott, Simon Cattley and Brent ‘Moose’ Morrison.  Unfortunately another aussie, and important goal scorer, Bryce Fraser is going to miss the final after dislocating his elbow playing for the Swans in August.

So it’s all lined up to be a cracking contest between the best two teams in the competition.  Let’s hope the Swans are singing their song after the final siren.

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International Cup wrap and what’s next Swans win the Premiership

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