Swans win the Premiership
My team the South Dublin Swans have won the Jeep ARFLI Premiership for 2011. Here’s the match report.
The South Dublin Swans have won the Jeep Irish Aussie Rules Premiership after a hard fought win against the Cork based Leeside Lions in Durrow, Co Laois last week, final score 6 goals and 9 points 45 to 5 goals and 7 points 37.
The Swans got to this stage after a close semi-final victory against the Mid-West Magpies. Their Grand Final opponents Leeside Lions had a much smoother path to the decider with an easy semi-final win over the Dublin Demons and may have been slight favorites based on this performance. From last year’s team the Swans had lost a few players including big ruckman Paul O’Halloran, however another big man, Tom Russell made this position his own in 2011. The Swans also had three players that played in the victorious 2011 International Cup that Ireland won in the Melbourne Cricket Ground in August, full forward, Manus Breathnach, half back James O’Byrne and midfielder, Darren Sheils.
The game was played 14-aside with the Swans defense of Moose, Louis, Peter, Rambo, Noel and Dec. In the middle was ruckman Tom and midfielder rotation between Mick Hurley, Daz, Scotty and Freddie Romar. In the forwards were Marty, Chucky, Bobby, Manus, Simon, Rhino and Kev. Further interchange options were available from Pat, Niall and Dara. The only unavailable player from the tight semi-final victory was Conor Evans who was overseas. Other players that contributed over the year including Byrce, Neil Lester and Eddie could not tog out because of injury.
The Leeside Lions were aiming for their first Premiership since 2007 and opened the game better playing with a moderate wind on their backs. They led at quarter time by 15 points to 8. The Swans overturned this deficit in the second quarter keeping the Lions scoreless and adding three goals to their tally to led 4.5 29 to 2.3.15 at half-time. Much to the fore in the second quarter was big Swans full forward Manus Breathnach who was causing the Lions defence a lot of problems.
On the resumption of the third quarter the Lions came back strongly with some composed play from Irish Warriors captain Cian Quigley and fellow international Eoin O’Suilleabhain in the Lions half-back line. At the end of the penultimate quarter the Lions were right back in it being just two points behind 5.7. 37 to 5.5. 35
It was now make or break time in the game and some committed performances were required all over the park by the Swans. The Swans had the wind in the final quarter and managed to bag another goal to makes things a little more comfortable. However with time running out the Lions continued their patient build up play but their desire to retain possession over field position meant they ran out of time in the end. The Lions had an after the siren kick that they missed meaning the Swans won by a narrow eight point margin. On the final siren it was elation for the Swans players and supporters who have now won back to back premierships, a fine achievement for this proud South Dublin club. Best on ground in the final was Swans ruckman Tom Russell who outplayed his opponent, former Irish international Brian O’Connell. A great achievement for Tom in his first season playing Aussie Rules.
South Dublin Swans goalscorers: Manus Breathnach 4, Michael Hurley 1, Nick Pigdon 1`