The final Round of the Leeside League took place last Wednesday night, with Killarney Rugby club playing host to AFL. Once again it was an action packed evening in Munster, with a lot still riding on the last set of fixtures.
Suns v Bombers
The first game of the evening saw the Kerry Suns taking part in their first official home game as a club. Knowing that only a comprehensive victory, along with a narrow win for the Lions in the other game would be enough to claim the trophy, the Bombers came out firing. Racking up 7 goals (42 points), the Cork side blew their hosts away. The Suns with their first 3 home goals in competitive action, can be proud of their efforts over the last 3 weeks. They have been a brilliant addition to this new 4 team format for 2021. The Bombers had to wait until the final game of the evening to see if their victory would be enough to take the title
Final Score Suns – 3 Goals (18) Bombers – 7 Goals (42)
Vikings v Crusaders
The third and final game in the women’s series was set up for a cracking finale. The Vikings had taken the first round 2 weeks ago, however the Crusaders hit back to level the series up in Round 2. Both teams had their sights set on the first Leeside League Women’s title, and it didn’t disappoint. The first quarter was a nip and tuck affair with both sides trading blows, the Vikings edging it 4 goals to 2. It was the second quarter in which the Vikings ascerted their dominance, notching up another 3 goals without reply. It was an uphill battle for the Crusaders from then on. The last 2 quarters were tight, the Vikings kicked 5 to the Crusaders 4 in that period, giving them the title. Annie Walsh kicked 6 goals on the night for the Vikings with Amanda Brennan racking up 3 as the Crusaders top scorer on the night. Congrats to the Cork Vikings on their maiden Leeside League.
Final Score Vikings – 12 Goals (72) Crusaders – 6 Goals (36)
Saints v Lions
The final game on the night was the League decider in the Men’s Competition. The Lions knew that they would not be crowned champions as the Bombers had won heavily earlier in the evening. However, they could spoil the party for the Saints, who knew a win or a draw would be enough to claim the spoils. The Lions threw a spanner in the works early on as they came out firing, aiming to dash their rivals hopes of claiming the title. To their credit, the Saints rallied and clawed their way back, setting up a pulsating finish in the Kingdom. With the Lions leading by 5 goals to 4 with only moments remaining, the Saints mustered up a levelled leaving the sides tied on 30 points a piece. It proved to be enough to claim a draw and in that, gave the Leeside League to the Saints. A massive effort by the Saints, meaning they were unbeaten over the series. Congratulations on an impressive victory in what was a captivating Leeside League over the past 3 weeks.
Final Score: Saints – 5 Goals (30) Lions – 5 Goals (30)
Overall this year, 6 teams competed over the 2 competitions. 110 goals were scored by a total of 33 different players. The women’s tournament has been a massive success, with over 20 players taking part.
Congratulations to the leading goalkickers in both comps. Darren O’Dwyer of the Bombers kicked 8 goals over the 3 weeks, while the Cork Viking’s Annie Walsh led the scoring in the women’s comp with 10 goals in total.
A fantastic Leeside League culminated in a gripping final round down in the south west. With quality footy and high numbers yet again this year, it is sure to continue as a highlight of pre season on the AFL Ireland calendar. Attention will now turn to the AFL Ireland Premiership campaigns which begin this coming weekend.
The Leeside League, the future of AFL in Munster.