Swans Win ARFLI Premiership yet again
South Dublin Swans 10.16 76 Belfast Redbacks 8.8 56
My club South Dublin Swans have won the 2013 Australian Rules Football League of Ireland Premiership. They secured the title with a dramatic victory over last season’s winners Belfast Redbacks on Saturday last at the Civil Service Grounds in Islandbridge, Dublin. This is the Swans fourth national title having also won in 2006, 2010 and 2011 and if you count the South Dublin Eagles 2004 title they are now the winning most team in ARFLI history.
After a good season finishing third in the ladder it was always expected to be a tight tussle against the Redbacks who had beaten us home and away during the regular season. However after the Swans beat the Leeside Lions away in Cork in the previous week’s semi-final confidence was high for the team that has dominated Irish AFL in recent times.
It was a rather strange week or two for me. On the eve of the semi-final again Leeside Lions a painful toothache had escalated into a swelling throat and fever meaning I couldn’t play against the Leesiders, worse was to follow as the swelling continued meaning by Sunday morning I could no longer talk or swallow. At this stage I was a little worried so rushed to A&E and up to today have spent my time there having six days in ICU with a tube down my neck in a very uncomfortable predicament. The tube was to keep me breathing in case the swelling increased as I fought what was deemed to be a very serious bacterial infection called Ludwig’s Angina.
So as you can imagine I had a very different focus on Grand Final week.
Note I wasn’t there for the Grand Final so my match report is made up of the snatches of information I gathered subsequently! In the opening quarter the Redbacks stormed out of the blocks kicking four goals to none leaving them 4.3 27 to 0.3 3 at quarter time. The gap was extended by the end of the second quarter 7.3 45 to 2.7 19 in favour of the athletic hard tackling Ulstermen who must have been now expecting back to back titles and a celebratory trip back up the M1. However in this quarter the Swans did manage to match the Redbacks kicking rate, but their poorer accuracy meant they were still well behind.
Whatever was said at the longest break obviously made a difference as the Swans started to take the game by the horns kicking 6 goals to the Redbacks 1, to turn a 26 point deficit into a 4 point lead, 8.11 59 to 8.6 54. The final quarter was all Swans as surprisingly the more youthful Redback team seemed to wain the longer the game went on. The Swans adding a further 2 goals and 5 behinds to the Redbacks mere 2 behinds leaving the score at the final siren 10.16 76 to 8.8 56 in favour of the South Dubliners.
It was elation all round for the Swans with recently married captain Mick Hurley emotional in his victory speech (I’m not sure was he but he looks it in the photo!).
Best on Ground was Ryan Serocki, one of three Australians on the Swans team.
The victory wasn’t forgotten on the other side of the world and former and current Sydney Swans players Tadhg Kennelly and Tommy Walsh tweeted their congratulations to the Irish Swans.
- Famous Tweets of Congratulations
Swans goal scorers: Richie Dignam 3, Grayson Stopp 3, Ryan Serocki 2, Bobby Byrne 1, Manus Breathnach 1.