20 Aug, 2018
MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY 2018 PREMIERSHIP SEASON - PRESENTED BY AUSSIE SPORTS USA
LIONS DIM SUNS, CLIMB TO 3rd
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
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
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
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
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.
MARSHALS CAN SEIZE WEST WITH WIN SATURDAY
After suffering a surprise setback last week to knock them off their previously-unbeaten pedestal, the Tombstone Marshals can reclaim the Major League Footy Western Conference lead with a rebound result Saturday.
The Marshals clash with the West Side Bombers (1-1) in a 10 AM MST tilt at Tempe Sports Complex in Tempe, Arizona.
Currently trailing the Phoenix Scorpions (3-1), the Marshals maintain an 18-point overall point differential on the Phoenix, themselves winners of three on the trot.
The Bombers can undo all that optimism with a win Saturday, and on percentages, could actually pass up the Marshals on the ladder, should both teams be even at 2-2 after Saturday’s action.
With the Western Conference Summer Series careening toward the finish, the run home is about to get tight, and the Tombstone controls their own destiny – for now.
MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY WEEK 14: TOMBSTONE MARSHALS v. WEST SIDE BOMBERS, 10 AM MST
TEMPE SPORTS COMPLEX, TEMPE, ARIZONA
LIONS ROAR INTO MLF; DIM SUNS
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 22.214.171.124 – 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.
The Suncoast rally fell just short, however, as time ran out for a Lions 126.96.36.199 – 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
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.
Swans Dismantle Weary Saints, 66-11
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
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
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!