MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY 2018 PREMIERSHIP SEASON - PRESENTED BY AUSSIE SPORTS USA

MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: ST. PETERSBURG SWANS v. STARFISH FC – SEPTEMBER 29 – 11 AM

IT FITS: MCINTOSH TAKES 2018 MLF SCORING CROWN

Ben McIntosh Sept 15 MLF Scoring Lead

Another big day in a season of big days for MLF Scoring Leader Ben McIntosh powered St. Pete to a sweep of last weekend’s Super Saturday Showdown Carnival. The Swans will face the winner of the Preliminary Final between the Tampa Bay Bombers and Starfish FC.

Queensland gun Ben McIntosh has romped to the 2018 Major League Footy scoring title, booting an impressive 68.10  on the campaign.

His 418 points is an MLF high-water mark that could stand for years.

Despite missing several weeks of the 24-week MLF regular season due to a trip home, McIntosh overcame Miami’s Neil Cohen – who also lit up the scoreboard in each of his contests – and never looked back.

Cohen (17.14.116), Aaron Crittenden (13.14.92) and Jason Blackbourn (12.6.78) round out the circuit’s top four scoring table for the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season.

A dominating 7.2 performance at the Super Saturday Showdown Carnival saw McIntosh hit from everywhere on the ground, helping the St. Petersburg Swans sweep matches against the Florida Lions and Miami Saints.

Those results saw St. Petersburg secure a spot in the Major League Footy Championship Final, Saturday, September 29.

The Swans will face the winner of today’s Preliminary Final between the Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2) and Starfish FC (5-4).

Ball up in Game One of the matinee twin-bill is 11 AM.

2018MLFSCORING

PLAYER GOALS BEHINDS POINTS
MCINTOSH, ARFC 68 10 418
COHEN, MIAMI 17 14 116
CRITTENDEN, TAMPA BAY 13 14 92
BLACKBOURN, ST. PETE 12 6 78
SCHEIDT, SUNCOAST 9 3 57
LUMSDEN, ST. PETE 3 1 19

HIGH-FLYING BOMBERS TO RUMBLE WITH ‘FISH IN PRELIM

0922- TAMPA BAY v STARFISH FC

The Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2) look to tame surging Starfish FC in the Major League Footy Preliminary Final, Saturday, September 22 in St. Petersburg

In an MLF Preliminary Final where anything is possible, the red-hot Tampa Bay Bombers will take on an equally-surging Starfish FC side this Saturday, with the results determining which side will advance to play the St. Petersburg Swans in the Championship Final, September 29.

ST PETERSBURG STARFISH FC

Jeff Grubb and Starfish FC rebounded from a 1-4 start to claim a spot in this weekend’s MLF Preliminary Final.

The Bombers (6-2, 24 points) parlayed a comeback win over the Swans to rise to the top of the table, only to be passed up with St. Petersburg’s sweep of last weekend’s season-defining Showdown Carnival.

Once in danger of taking the Wooden Spoon, the ‘Fish rallied late in the season to rip off four straight and improve to 5-4.

Showdown losses by the Florida Lions (4-4, 16 points) and Miami Saints (4-2, 16 points) allowed Starfish FC to clinch one of three MLF Finals berths.

In the circuit’s scheduling mix, late-season fixtures are ‘flexed’ to create playoff match-ups.
Qualifying sides play a minimum of ten games, while clubs no longer in contention play eight matches.

This weekend’s Major League Preliminary Final was secured after the Lions and Saints were mathematically eliminated from securing a berth in the three-team Finals seeding.

As MLF player lists coalesce in advance of the circuit’s transition to an October-March Premiership Season schedule, it’s expected that the rosters for the Finals will become permanent for the 2018-19 season.

MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY PRELIMINARY FINAL:

TAMPA BAY BOMBERS (6-2) v. ST. PETERSBURG STARFISH FC (5-4)
Saturday, September 22 – Game One – 11 AM EDT

SHOWDOWN SHAKEOUT SETS PRELIM STAGE

JOHN WAECHTER - SEPT 15

St. Petersburg Swans debutant John Waechter helped the hosts race to a sweep of the MLF Showdown Carnival, September 15.

On a day that began with five sides fighting for just three MLF finals berths, it’s probably no shock that a bit of chaos was the rule of the day.

The St. Petersburg Swans entered the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival as the early-season favorites on the fade; the youth-packed Florida Lions came in red-hot after four wins on the trot, and the Miami Saints looked like the circuit’s dominant side.

One day of footy changed all that, fast.

After Miami raced out to a big first half lead over the Lions in Game 1, it appeared the Saints would all but lock up a berth. A rally by a brave Lions side fell short, pushing Florida to 4-3 – and to the brink of elimination.

Game Two saw the Swans follow the Halos’ script, as St. Petersburg parlayed an overwhelming offensive start to turn the table on Miami en route to a rout, 75-19.

With both sides worn from the sweltering Florida heat, the focus shifted to how the Lions would stand up to the St. Petersburg point-scoring tandem of Aaron Crittenden and Ben McIntosh.

The answer wouldn’t come until the second half of Game 3, when the Swans overcome a sluggish start to clinch a Finals berth by virtue of a sweep of the series, knocking out both Miami and Florida in one sitting.

Aaron Crittenden - Sept 15

St. Petersburg forward Aaron Crittenden helped the Swans wear down a young Lions defense in the second half of Game 3, as St. Petersburg saved its season with a sweep of the Showdown Carnival, September 15.

That course of events sees the table now set for this Saturday’s Major League Footy Preliminary Final, as the Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2, 24 points) will clash with Starfish FC (5-4), Saturday at 11 AM in St. Petersburg.

While the Swans’ berth in the Championship Final may be clinched, Saturday’s Prelim carries its own share of drama, as each of the contenders could settle in any one of the three seeds going into the Final.

At 5-4, Starfish FC has a slight advantage in playing 11 matches by way of a scheduling quirk. With a lead over the Swans in percentages, the ‘Fish can claim the top seed.

Likewise, a sweep of Saturday’s Preliminary double-header will vault the Bombers into the top seed.

A split between the Starfish and Bombers could see the Swans’ minor premiership stand up, although Tampa Bay holds a significant advantage on percentages.

Saturday’s Preliminary Final twin-bill is an 11 AM EDT ball-up in St. Petersburg.

SWANS ESCAPE LIONS, EARN SHOWDOWN SWEEP; 38-13

AARON CRITTENDEN - SEPT 15

St. Petersburg forward Aaron Crittenden helped lead the Swans past the brave Florida Lions Saturday, capping a sweep of the MLF Showdown Carnival. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Seeking a sweep of the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival, the St. Petersburg Swans turned back a resilient Florida Lions squad, running out 5.8.38 – 2.1.13 winners to cap ‘Super Saturday’ in St. Pete.

Forced into the difficult slot of playing back-to-back matches on the day, St. Pete came out of the gate slowly in Game 3, having left a lot on the ground against a demanding Miami Saints side in the second match on the day.

With the Leos having time to recuperate after their Game 1 loss to Miami, both sides nibbled around the edges in an attempt to create opportunities inside 40s.

Aaron Crittenden - September 15 2

Michael Waechter and Pat Bilder of the Lions corral the Swans’ Aaron Crittenden in Game 3 of Saturday’s MLF Showdown Carnival in St. Petersburg. The Swans would go on to win 5.8.38 – 2.1.13. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The first half ended with a sluggish 1.5.11 – 1.0.6 advantage for the hosting Swans.

Aaron Crittenden and Ben McIntosh came to life in the second half, turning excellent help from ruck Jason Blackbourn and newcomer John Waechter into points, as the home side would kick three quick strikes to open some distance over the fledgling Lions.

The 25-point final margin paints a somewhat deceptive picture of the affair, as the second half was as tense as the first.

The advantage eventually swung to St. Pete strictly by virtue of converting a string of late chances.

Played in extreme conditions, the three-match carnival concludes the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership head-to-head season, with the Swans snaring first place on the ladder at 7-3, 28 points.

The hard-fought result dropped the Lions to 4-4, 16 points, knocking Florida out of the MLF Finals race.

The second-seed Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2) will face #3 Starfish FC (5-4) in a twin-bill Preliminary Final, Saturday, September 22 for a chance to face the Swans in the Major League Footy 2018 Championship Final, Saturday, September 29.

MCINTOSH, BLACKBOURN LEAD SWANS PAST SAINTS; 75-19

BEN MCINTOSH - SEPT 15 1

Ben McIntosh brushed back illness to help lead the St. Petersburg Swans to a convincing victory over the Miami Saints in Game Two of the MLF Showdown Carnival, Saturday in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Ben McIntosh and Jason Blakbourn lit the first fuse of an explosive Swans offensive performance, lifting St. Petersburg to a 1.10.5.75 – 3.1.19 torching of the Miami Saints in breathtaking Florida heat, Saturday in St. Pete.

Entering Game Two of the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival in need of at least one – and probably two – wins to save their once-promising season, the Swans were also still shaking off a 51-point defeat to the Saints in Ft. Lauderdale earlier this summer.

With the ‘Florida Derby’ between the cross-state rivals knotted one win apiece, St.

JASON BLACKBOURN - SEPTEMBER 15

St. Petersburg ruck Jason Blackbourn set the tone for the Swans’ 75-19 win over Miami Saturday, winning all four taps to set up the St. Pete charge. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Petersburg wasted little time extracting revenge for their June 23 loss at Croissant Park.

Jumping out to 25-0 lead before the Saints were able to right their ship and establish an attack punctuated by the circuit’s Number 2 scorer Neil Cohen, the Swans took a 5.2.32 – 3.1.19 lead into the break.

While McIntosh, Blackbourn and forward Aaron Crittenden would continue to light up the scoreboard, a weary Saints side was kept off the ledger in the second half.

A McIntosh super goal punctuated a 1.5.3.43 – 0 second stanza that capped the rout for hosting St. Petersburg.

Battling a stomach ailment in the early going, McIntosh recovered quickly, adding to his monumental MLF Scoring lead.

The result pushed St. Pete to 6-3 entering the final match of the Showdown Carnival, with both the Swans and Florida Lions seeking a win to advance into the MLF Championship Finals.

Miami finishes the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season with a 4-2 mark. The Saints’ only two losses were to the Blackbourn-led Swans, as Miami defeated the Lions, Clearwater Kangas and Starfish FC on the year.

The Saints will look to regroup entering the 2018-19 Season.

After a break, the Saints will hit the ground again this Autumn.

COHEN, HECKER SPARK SAINTS OVER LIONS

Kyle Roun had the upstart Florida Lions on the comeback against a precise Miami Saints side in Game One of the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival, September 15 in St.. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Neil Cohen led the visiting Miami Saints to a convincing victory over the Florida Lions Saturday, as the Saints ran out 7.2.44 – 2.4.16 winners in Game One of the MLF Showdown Carnival in St. Petersburg.

With an electrifying start, the Saints jumped out to a 4.2.26 – 0.1.1 advantage at the break, with Cohen and fellow American footy veteran Tom Hecker leading a precision-based attack that pinned back the young Lions from the first tap.

TOM HECKER - MIAMI

American footy vet Tom Hecker spearheaded an attack that saw Miami jump out to a quick four-goal margin over the Florida Lions, Saturday in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The Lions were able to mount a counter-punch in the early going of the second frame, notching the first nine points in the half, before Miami regained their footing, returning to their devastating possession game.

Miami would score the final three majors of the match in securing the 28-point win. That win saw Miami improve to 4-1, entering a highly-anticipated Game Two clash with the St. Petersburg Swans.

In knocking off the Leos, the Saints secured a season sweep of the Lions, Clearwater Kangas and Starfish FC, with their only loss a 66-11 setback to the Swans in the MLF season opener, April 14 at Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.

The Saints avenged that loss with a resounding rout of St. Petersburg, June 23 at Croissant Park in Ft. Lauderdale, a 100-49 Saints win.

The result dropped the Lions to 4-3 (16 points), seeing them needing a Game 3 win to stay alive in the hunt for an MLF Championship Finals berth.

The Lions, winners of four on the trot entering the Showdown Carnival, benefited from an injection of new talent taking the ground – a development that bodes well for the competition’s newest side.

1st PLACE BOMBERS WATCH & WAIT

AARON CRITTENDEN

At 6-2, the Tampa Bay Bombers are in lead for the MLF minor premiership, pending the results of this weekend’s key ‘Showdown Carnival’ in St. Petersburg.

While the Tampa Bay Bombers – at 6-2 and shock leaders on the MLF ladder – are not one of three sides competing in this weekend’s ‘Showdown Carnival’ in St. Petersburg, they’ll definitely be keenly watching the scoreboard.

Their season may depend on it.

Having rocketed to the top of the table – with a key come-from-behind win over the Swans punctuating their ascent – the Bombers have two key matches remaining of their own, and are not yet clear of the pack.

The Swans, StarfishFC and Florida Lions all have a chance to displace the Bombers from the top rung – or even knock them out of the Top Three.

While a Swans sweep of the Lions and Saints this weekend would move St. Pete to 7-3, icing a berth for the Bloods, two Lions victories could prove more problematic for Tampa Bay.

With both the Bombers and Lions having two matches remaining after this weekend, a combination of Tampa Bay losses, Lions wins *and* at least one win from StarfishFC on the season’s last weekend (September 29) could force the Bombers out of the Finals.

For the Bombers, the scoreboard watch begins this weekend.

‘SHOWDOWN CARNIVAL’ RATCHETS UP PLAYOFF PRESSURE

09-15 ST. PETERSBURG v. MIAMI

Today’s Major League Footy Triple-Header sees the Miami Saints visiting for matches with the Florida Lions and hosting St. Petersburg Swans. Game One begins at 4 PM.

The footy returns to historic Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg, as the St. Pete Swans (5-3) host a three-team ‘triple-header’ Showdown Carnival with the Florida Lions (4-2) and Miami Saints (3-1).MLF-PLAYING FIELD

Game One (Lions v. Saints) is a 4 PM ball-up.

All three sides are in a race for one of only three berths in the Major League Footy Championship Finals, and today’s action should determine each side’s playoff fate.

Having dropped two straight, the Swans’ season hangs in the balance, as the club can potentially clinch a berth or be eliminated from the Finals, depending on today’s results.

Rollbotto

Rollbotto is a Presenting Partner of St. Petersburg Swans Footy.

Crescent Lake Park is the historic Spring Training home of the New York Yankees and New York Mets, and has served as the Swans’ training ground since 2014.

Although Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common can be configured as a traditional, full-sized footy oval, today’s matches will be played in Major League Footy regular season dimensions of 120 yards long x 60 yards wide.

Teams will be seven players on the ground, with three in interchange, and each game will be played as 2 x 10 minute halves.

This is the Saints’ second visit to Central Florida on the season, having split matches with Starfish FC and the Swans on April 14.

The Saints (3-1) won home matches in Ft. Lauderdale this season, trouncing both the Swans and the Clearwater Kangas at Croissant Park.

Saturday’s Game One will be the first match between the Lions and Saints.

 

MLF LADDER BATTLE IN HIGH GEAR FOR WEEK 23

0915 - STPS-MIA

The St. Petersburg Swans host cross-state rivals the Miami Saints in this weekend’s Showdown carnival.

A crowd at the the top of the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder could see a bit of a clear-out this weekend.

With the Miami Saints visiting cross-state rivals the St. Petersburg Swans this Saturday, and the Florida Lions joining to make it a three-match carnival with playoff implications, all hands find their Finals hopes on the line.

For St. Petersburg (5-3) – losers of two straight after a scintillating start to the season – it’s essentially ‘win or go home’ for the 2018 MLF Finals.

With four games to go, the surging Lions stand at 4-2, and with a bit more breathing room.

The Lions finish their regular season with a twin-bill vs Starfish FC (5-4) on September 29 in a match-up that could decide a Finals spot for the Leos.

The Saints (3-1) may also end up on the outside looking in, due to their abbreviated season (a midsummer visit to Central Florida was cancelled, giving the Saints a harder chance at the Finals). Still, they can surely wreak havoc on the top of the table.

In previous match-ups this season, the Swans and Saints have both been big winners at home, with St. Pete taking a 66-11 win over Miami on April 14. The Halos returned the favor at Crossaint Park in Ft. Lauderdale, June 23 in a 51-point rout of their own.

With extreme conditions (temperatures nearing 100 F), expected this weekend in St. Petersburg, a high-stakes three-game set promises to tax everyone on the ground.

The club left standing will likely be able to punch their Finals ticket.

WITH 61.8, IT’S ALL EYES ON B-MAC

BEN MCINTOSH

Kicking a mammoth 61.8 to date, Queensland gun Ben McIntosh has dominated the circuit in 2018. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Ben McIntosh enters Week 23 action with a momentous lead in overall scoring (61.8.374) for the 2018 MLF Season, but there’s plenty of room for change in the Top 5 before the Finals begin.

Miami’s Neil Cohen (90 points) has a tenuous hold on the 2nd spot, with Aaron Crittenden charging close behind with 84 – and a solid shot to finish the season as the runner-up.

Usually a backliner due to superior on-ball skills, American footy veteran Kenneth Scheidt of the Swans’ has an outside shot to pass teammate Jason Blackbourn and Cohen for #3, providing he has opportunity over the final three weeks of the season.

With McIntosh, Crittenden and Scheidt all expected in the St. Petersburg line-up Saturday, odds are the goals will come in bags.

Saturday’s first match is a 4 PM ball-up when the Saints visit the Swans.

The Florida Lions (4-2) will also take part in the three-game Carnival at Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common.

2018MLFSCORING

PLAYER GOALS BEHINDS POINTS
MCINTOSH, ARFC 61 8 374
COHEN, MIAMI 13 12 90
CRITTENDEN, TAMPA BAY 12 12 84
BLACKBOURN, ST. PETE 9 4 58
SCHEIDT, SUNCOAST 9 3 57
LUMSDEN, ST. PETE 3 1 19

FLEX ALERT! LEOS ADDED TO SATURDAY SLATE

FLORIDA LIONS MLF

With a solid shot to claim an MLF Finals berth, Ben McIntosh and the Florida Lions have been added to this Saturday’s slate, with matches vs Miami and St. Petersburg. FILE PHOTO: KATE MATSON

As the MLF run home hits full speed, the Florida Lions have been ‘flexed’ into this Saturday’s schedule.

The Lions will now face the Miami Saints and St. Petersburg Swans in a three-match ‘Footy Night In Florida’ carnival.

Under the MLF schedule flexibility guidelines, all sides in contention for one of three Finals berths after the conclusion of Week 22 play a level number (10) of matches.

Sides eliminated from the Finals see their schedules reduced to 8 Premiership matches.

The ‘flex’ schedule mechanism is designed to enhance each contending side’s playoff opportunity, and the Lions are the beneficiary of favorable results in MLF action in weeks 21 and 22.

With Starfish FC sweeping the Lakeland Tigers last Saturday in St. Petersburg, the Tigers – originally scheduled for ‘Footy Night In Florida’ – will now play one remaining match versus the Lions. That game will be played September 29.

A corresponding flex sees the Clearwater Kangas play the Tampa Bay Bombers, September 22.

The Suncoast Suns (1-6), Kangas (2-5) and Tigers (2-5) have been mathematically eliminated from securing a berth in the 2018 MLF Championship Finals, and the Lions benefit from the ‘flex’, as they gain two matches in their quest for the Finals.

STARFISH MAKE IT FOUR; RACE TIGHTENS

ST PETERSBURG STARFISH FC

Jeff Grubb and Starfish FC have posted four wins on the trot to move into 2nd place on the Major League Footy ladder with three weeks remaining. FILE PHOTO: KATE MATSON

A late-summer surge has boosted a newly-relevant Starfish FC side into prime position in the run home of the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season.

Heading into the Labor Day holiday, the ‘Fish looked to be headed for the Wooden Spoon, mired with a 1-4 mark and the circuit’s second-worst percentages.

What a difference two weeks can make.

Sweeping each of the past two weekend matinee twin-bills, the St. Petersburg side has maximized their opportunities in turning aside the Lakeland Tigers and Suncoast Suns in successive weeks.

Those results effectively saw the scrappy Blue and Gold end the seasons of both opponents.

That run has seen them climb all the way to second on the ladder as the season heads into its final three weeks of head-to-head play.

In putting up 134 combined points Saturday against a brave Suns side, the Starfish also played a hand in the single-highest scoring day of the 2018 Major League Footy season, as Suncoast totaled 110 on a day the offenses reigned in sultry conditions.

With one final double-header to close out the season (September 29), the ‘Fish seemingly control their own destiny, although that battle with the Florida Lions (4-2, and also looking to seal a Finals berth) will be no cakewalk.

SUNS – STARFISH TANGLE IN WEEK 22

STARFISH - SUNS SEPT 8

St. Petersburg Starfish FC (3-4) look to make a move up the MLF ladder, Saturday Sept. 8 vs the 1-4 Suns.

Suddenly-relevant Starfish FC (3-4) can jump into contention for one of three Finals berths with a repeat of last weekend’s success, when they take on the Suncoast Suns (1-4) in a twin-bill, Saturday in St. Petersburg.

With the 2018 Premiership Season well into the run home, Starfish FC leapt off the mat in sweeping the Lakeland Tigers, pushing past the heavily-favored Tiges in the process.

Now, as Major League Footy moves toward the launch of a newly-adapted October-March regular season schedule, sides are beginning to gel into fixed player lists.

Those lists will be finalized with the MLF Winter Player Draft, October 11, 2018.

Before then, the ‘Fish are also showing signs of gelling on the ground, as last week’s offensive outburst demonstrated.

MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY WEEK 22: SUNCOAST v. ST. PETERSBURG STARFISH FC, Saturday, September 8 – Game 1 – 11 AM.

‘FISH TURN TIDE, TAME TIGERS
StarfishFC

With an emphatic sweep of the Lakeland Tigers Saturday in St. Petersburg, Starfish FC is suddenly off the mat and poised for a charge up the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership ladder.

Previously languishing near the bottom of the table – and in danger of limping toward the Wooden Spoon – the ‘Fish (3-4, 12 points) dominated a Tigers (2-5, 8 points) team that entered the twin-bill with a seemingly superior list.

In blazing late summer conditions that felled no fewer than three players at various moments, the underdogs took Game One 9.3.57 – 1.2.23, then repeated the offensive outburst with a 7.5.47 – 1.1.4.20 romp in the second match.

As the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season run home now becomes a sprint, Starfish FC is now positioned to rally right into the thick of things, as a repeat of Saturday’s result this week vs a 1-4 Suncoast Suns side would pull the Blue and Gold to a 5-4 mark, and definitely into the Finals mix.

The Florida Lions, St. Petersburg Swans and Tampa Bay Bombers currently have hold on the three Finals berths, but things are about to get interesting.

MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY WEEK 22: Suncoast Suns v. St. Petersburg Starfish FC, Saturday, September 8, 11 AM.

SWANS – ‘FISH TO OPEN ’18-’19 CAMPAIGN

SWANS - STARFISH OCTOBER 27

The St. Petersburg Swans and Starfish FC will open the 2018-’19 Major League Footy campaign, as the competition adapts a new October-April regular season schedule.

The first match in the Major League Footy 2018-19 Premiership Season will see cross-town rivals from St. Petersburg tangle in a 7 PM start, Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Largo Sports Complex.

With the independent competition officially adapting an Autumn – Spring regular season schedule, the circuit will field eight sides from around Florida, with each slated for an 8-game head-to-head schedule.

MLF ‘State of Origin’ sides representing Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia metro region will participate in friendly matches in Spring 2019.

Founded in 2014, St. Petersburg Starfish FC is the original St. Pete-based Australian Rules side in St. Pete, with the Swans following in 2016.

The full Major League Footy 2018-19 Premiership Season fixtures will be released Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

TIGERS – STARFISH CLASH IN WEEK 21

SEPT 1 - TIGERS-STARFISH

In a weekend that celebrates the heroism of America’s men and women, both the Tigers and Starfish will be looking for a bit of heroics of their own.

Relevance on the MLF ladder is on the line Saturday when the Lakeland Tigers tangle with Starfish FC in a Labor Day weekend matinee in St. Petersburg. Ball up is 11 AM.

At 2-3, the Tigers control their own destiny, as a sweep of the twin-bill could see them jump from fifth to third.

Conversely, the ‘Fish are mired in 7th at 1-4, and need to string wins together in September to have any shot at a finals berth. Even a split of the double-header will likely eliminate the Starfish from contention, and the Wooden Spoon continues to loom as threat.

HIGH-FLYING BOMBERS ROCKET INTO 1ST

ROBBIE SCARALLO - AUGUST 25

Robbie Scarallo and the Tampa Bay Bombers routed the Kangas, Saturday, August 25. The result pushes the Bombers to 6-2 and atop the Major League Footy ladder. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

For the first time in the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season, the St. Petersburg Swans are looking up at a new leader on the ladder.

Pacing the league through the first 20 weeks of the campaign, St. Pete suddenly finds itself dropped into second place after the Tampa Bay Bombers routed the Clearwater Kangas in both ends of a matinee twin-bill, Saturday, August 25.

That result moves the Bombers to 6-2 (24 points) with a one-game lead over St. Pete (5-3, 20 points) as the season heads into the run home.

In Saturday’s first match, Tampa Bay put on a convincing rout, posting a 1.11.3.79 – 4.3.27 trouncing in sultry conditions.

Game two saw Clearwater fall behind by 39 points, before finally managing to eke out a representative effort in the second half before falling 9.4.58 – 3.2.20.

With the Florida Lions (4-2) also closing in on the race for one of three Finals berths, the chase will only intensify from here on out.

Week 21 will see Starfish FC take on the Lakeland Tigers – with both sides also seeking an opportunity to move up in the standings.

 

LIONS DIM SUNS, CLIMB TO 3rd

AUSTEN KUGLER AUGUST 18 2018

Austen Kugler and Ben McIntosh pushed the Florida Lions past the Suncoast Suns yesterday, moving into 3rd on the Major League Footy ladder. PHOTO: Kate Matson

Relentless pressure and supergoals from American Austen Kugler and Queensland gun Ben McIntosh pushed the Florida Lions to a 4-2 mark, and smack into the thick of things as the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season heads into the run home.

In searing Florida heat – the game-time ‘feels like’ temperature was a withering 103 F – the Lions put on an offensive show in Game One, crushing the Suncoast Suns 66-13 in the first match of an ‘AFLX clock’ double-header.

Each match was played in two ten-minute halves, with no time on.

With McIntosh leading the way, the high-flying Lions offense poured it on from the first ball-up, while the Suns (1-4) kicking cost the homestanders opportunities as well.

Game Two saw Suncoast open up an early lead, before wilting in the heat and succumbing to a 27-20 result.

The sweep moves the upstart Lions to 3rd on the table, even with the Tampa Bay Bombers at four wins and two losses, but trailing in percentages.

Tampa Bay can pull away and put some space between themselves and the Lions  – and also have a chance to climb to the top of the table – next Saturday, as the Bombers clash with the Clearwater Kangas (2-2) next Saturday in St. Petersburg.

MLF TO ANNOUNCE 2018-19 SCHEDULE

MLF 2018-19

Major League Footy will adapt a Premiership Season running October-April, beginning this Autumn. Play will begin October 27, and the full schedule will be announced Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

As the 2018 summer schedule heads into the run home, Major League Footy – the independent competition of Australian football in the USA – will announce its 2018-19 Premiership Season schedule on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

As Major League Footy transitions to annual Autumn – Spring Premiership Season schedule, the 2018-19 competition will begin Saturday, October 27, 2018, and will run through April 6, 2019.

The MLF playoff finals will take place April 13 and April 20, 2019.

The 2019 Major League Footy Championship Final will be held April 27, 2019.

Watch for the full fixtures and venues announcement – to be unveiled September 4, 2018.

SUNS LOOK TO SCORCH LEOS

AUG 18 SUNS v LIONS

The Suncoast Suns (1-2) can make a leap toward contention with a positive result vs. the Florida Lions (2-2), Saturday in St. Petersburg.

With the dog days of summer officially in full swing, the Suncoast Suns (1-2) will be looking to heat up the run home in the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season when they host the Florida Lions (2-2), Saturday in St. Petersburg.

The Lions dropped both ends of a matinee double-header their last time out, a harsh result that prevented them from moving up into second on the MLF ladder.

This week, the Lions will need to come away with at least a split in the twin-bill to remain firmly in the chase.

The Suns, meanwhile, can jump four places to sixth with a sweep this weekend.

The recent run of inclement weather that has wrecked havoc on the final weeks of the season – forcing multiple reschedules – is expected to be calm (storm-wise), although the game-time temperature on the ground should exceed 100 F once again.

The Suncoast Suns host the Florida Lions, Saturday, August 18 at 11 AM in St. Petersburg.

WITH TWIN-BILL SWEEP, LIONS CAN ROAR INTO 2ND

JUNE 16 - JORDAN CALERO

Jordan Calero and the upstart Florida Lions (2-0) can overtake the Tampa Bay Bombers (4-2) for sole possession of the #2 seed in the MLF Eastern Conference. FILE PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The Florida Lions (2-0) can overtake the surging Tampa Bay Bombers, and stake their claim on the upper reaches of the Major League Footy ladder with a sweep of Saturday’s looming matinee clash with the Lakeland Tigers (0-3).

As the MLF run home heats up – the circuit’s unbalanced schedule format sees the Lions, Bombers, Suncoast Suns and St. Petersburg StarfishFC all have six matches remaining, while the ladder-leading St. Petersburg Swans hit the ground on only three more times.

That gives the Leos – the only undefeated side remaining in the competition – a real chance to soar all the way to the top, beginning this Saturday.

The Lions’ double-header with the cellar-dwelling Tigers will be played under ‘AFLX clock’ rules – each match will be played as two 20-minute halves.

As the Bombers learned last weekend in their own sweep of a matinee versus StarfishFC, even that abbreviated run-time can be difficult in Florida’s sultry mid-summer conditions.

With a convincing 61-17 win in the first game July 28, the Bombers were forced to trudge through a second game that began with extreme heat, only to be called official abruptly as lighting threatened. Tampa Bay won the second match of the day 20-6.

The Lions will be looking for the same result – if not the conditions – when they face off with the Tigers, Saturday, August 4 in St. Petersburg.

Game One is an 11 AM ball-up.

BOMBERS STRIKE ‘FISH, ROCKET UP LADDER

AARON CRITTENDEN

Aaron Crittenden’s big day up front propelled the Tampa Bay Bombers to a 9.7.61 – 2.5.17 win over StarfishFC, Saturday in St. Petersburg.

A blowout 9.7.61 – 2.5.17 win over Starfish FC Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida, has propelled the Tampa Bay Bombers to the second position on the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder.

Winners now of three on the trot, the Bombers – paced by a stand-out performance from Aaron Crittenden – have now risen past the Miami Saints to take over sole possession of the second seed – at least for the moment.

With four games remaining in the run home, the Bombers will likely be in a fierce battle the rest of the way, as both the Florida Lions (2-0) and Miami (3-1) loom as threats to also make the MLF Finals – and possibly even upend the St. Petersburg Swans (5-3) at the top of the table.

In Saturday’s searing conditions in St. Pete – which saw the second match of the twin-bill truncated in a lightning-threatened 3.2.20 – 1.0.6 positive result for Tampa Bay – Crittenden posted a total of six majors and 3 behinds, to pace all scorers.

Major League Footy moves to Week 17 Saturday, as the Lions square off with the bottom-dwelling Lakeland Tigers (0-3) in a double-header that could see Tampa Bay’s quick rise up the ladder become short-lived indeed.

A Lions sweep of Saturday’s matinee would propel the Leos to 4-0, supplanting the Bombers’ quick rise.

T-STORMS SCRAP LEOS-‘FISH TILT

StarfishFCToday’s scheduled twin-bill pitting the Florida Lions and St. Petersburg StarfishFC has been postponed due to inclement weather (thunderstorms).

With storms expected to persist in waves throughout the day, the contest has been rescheduled to 11 AM, Sept. 29, 2018

LIONS ROAR INTO MLF; DIM SUNS

JUNE 16 - FLORIDA v SUNCOAST

Austen Kugler (#9) battles Ben McIntosh for the tap as Jeff Grubb (#7) and Jordan Calero (#37) prepare to pounce in the Lions Saturday double-header sweep of the Suns.

Queensland gun Ben McIntosh helped fuel the Florida Lions to a double-header sweep of the Suncoast Suns in Saturday’s Week Ten Major League Footy action in St. Petersburg.

With supergoals in each of the two ‘AFLX clock’ matches, McIntosh powered the Lions on both ends of the twin-bill, as the Lions pulled away in the first game, on their way to running out 1.7.3.55 – 2.1.13 winners.

Both sides spent the first half of match one looking for an advantage, as Florida edged to a one goal lead at the break.

The second half was all Lions, as McIntosh and Jordan Calero took over the second frame and steamrolled to a 42-point win, earned by shutting out Suncoast in the stanza.

That narrative continued in Game 2, with the Lions racing out to a 31-point advantage before the Suns stormed back in the second half on the legs of Austen Kugler and Robbie Scallaro.

JUNE 16 - JORDAN CALERO

Jordan Calero helped the Lions dominate the first half of Game Two in Florida’s double-header sweep of the Suncoast Suns.

The Suncoast rally fell just short, however, as time ran out for a Lions 1.5.5.45 – 6.3.39 win.

The result moves Florida (2-0) all the way to third on the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season ladder. Suncoast falls to 1-2, dropping to eighth on the ladder.

Major League Footy Eastern Conference play moves to South Florida on Saturday, June 23, as the league-leading St. Petersburg Swans (5-1) travel to face #2 Miami Saints (2-1). The tangle figures to be a belter in a 2 pm ball-up at Croissant Park in Ft. Lauderdale.

WITH ASSIST FROM DONS, BOMBERS LAND IN TAMPA

BOMBERS

The Tampa Bay Bombers will join the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season competition, effective immediately. A Tampa-based training schedule will be released in advance of the side’s first match, May 19.

Major League Footy is pleased to announce the addition of the Tampa Bay Bombers to the league’s 2018 Premiership Season competition, effective immediately.

The new Tampa-based side will take the ground in their first scheduled league match vs. the Suncoast Suns, Saturday, May 19.

Made possible by the support of the Essendon Bombers, who have graciously provided jumpers and other equipment to field the squad, the Bombers will be operated by Miro Gladovic.

Perhaps best known for his American Footy Star project, Gladovic has a long history with Essendon and the AFL, and is excited to field a side in Major League Footy.

‘The aim is to tightly integrated the storied Bombers tradition with Tampa’s long-standing history as home to MacDill Air Force Base, an important part of the Tampa Bay community’ says Gladovic.

‘We’ll take the ground in honor of both the Bombers identity and all of the service men and women at MacDill every time we play’ he added.

The headquarters of both the US Southern Command (SOCOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM), MacDill Air Force Base is home to a number of active-duty personnel from all NATO nations, including Australia and New Zealand, and is a critical economic and social component to the West Central Florida Region.

Adding a Tampa-based side will weave footy into the rich fabric of Tampa Bay sporting life, while honoring the men and women in service at MacDill Air Force Base.

Major League Footy is the independent league of Australian Rules Football in the United States. Games are played on gridiron (American) football grounds, and competition is based on head-to-head, rather than tournament play.

Major League Footy clubs are active and coming online in communities throughout the United States, with a particular focus on metropolitan areas in Florida for 2018.

For more information, please visit: majorleaguefooty.com and bombersfooty.us

Swans Dismantle Weary Saints, 66-11

ME041418

St. Petersburg Assistant Coach took over the proceedings from the whistle, booting three quick majors to open the Swans’ offensive charge in a rousing 10.6.66-1.5.11 win over visiting Miami.

St. Petersburg Swans assistant coach Matt Elliott set the ultimate example for his charges when he opened the season with three early majors, powering the Red and White to an emphatic 55-point win over the Miami Saints, Saturday at Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.

The Melbourne native helped St. Pete storm out to a 19-2 lead – and the Bloods never looked back, running out 10.6.66 – 1.5.11 winners on a pitch-perfect spring evening in Florida.

After a dominant performance in their opening victory over Starfish FC , Miami’s energy level waned as the match wore on. Aussie natives Jason Blackbourn, Mark Lumsden and Chris Gilligan imposed their physical will on the Saints early and often.

The match looked decided at halftime, as St. Petersburg sprinted to a 32-9 lead at the break.

The second half featured impressive kicking skills by Blackbourn, who nearly scored on a field-length kick. In-bounding from his own goal area after a Miami behind, Blackbourn launched a massive attempt that landed just short of the Saints goal line and was eventually driven home by Pat Bilder for the crumb.

Lumsden, the fifth import in St. Pete’s lineup, also displayed massive kicking skills with a booming, no-doubt goal from the midfield stripe to close out the victory.

KLINGER IN ADVISORY ROLE TO MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY

DARRIN KLINGER

Darrin Klinger has joined Major League Footy as Special Advisor to the League.

Major League Footy is pleased to announce the addition of Darrin Klinger as Special Advisor to the League.

Through business, politics and sports, Darrin has established key relationships between the U.S. and Australia.

Darrin travels to Australia regularly and works with a variety of sports interests including the Australian Rules Football Coaches Association, Melbourne Storm (NRL), Netball Victoria, and a number of Australian Football League teams, coaches, players and executives.

He is the founder of Australia – USA (AUSA) Connect, a network of thought leaders bridging opportunities through an exchange of ideas and business opportunities between two like-minded cultures. He is a member of the Australia America Association, AFL’s Geelong Cats Football Club. A massive tennis fan, Darrin has attended five straight Australian Opens.

MLF DEPLOYS AUSBALL FOR DEVELOPMENT

AUSBALL

Major League Footy has committed to the Ausball format for non-contact, co-ed footy

Major League Footy has announced an initiative to leverage the Ausball format of non-contact, co-ed footy in an effort to enhance the recruitment and growth of Australian Rules Football in MLF youth, scholastic and collegiate programs.

Ausball provides a fun, standardized environment for participants of all ages to discover our great sport, while developing footy skills and teamwork. These skills are essential, should players choose to continue to play at a higher level.

Under the guidance of Ausball orignators Denis Ryan and Matt Bishop, Ausball has long been a part of club footy in the United States, and Major League Footy is very proud to make Ausball part of our development, education and youth programs going forward.

The Ausball Academy website will re-launch soon, while MLF clubs in St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Los Angeles will immediately make the Ausball format part of their own clubs’ development efforts.

All MLF clubs will operate a league-wide Ausball program under standardize rules going forward.

Come have a kick!