18 Jul, 2018
MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY 2018 PREMIERSHIP SEASON - PRESENTED BY AUSSIE SPORTS USA
BOMBERS’ THRILL TIGHTENS CHASE
Nursing a 2-point lead and looking to run out the clock to cap a persistent, slow-burn of a comeback of their own, a costly Swans turnover at midfield instead resulted in a booming, take-charge major from the Bombers’ Kyle Roun.
Tampa Bay iced the proceedings seconds later on an errant St. Petersburg kick-in before the buzzer.
Tampa Bay’s 110-100 win further erodes an early stretch of St. Petersburg dominance at the top of the ladder.
Now sitting at 5-3, the Swans to-date wire-to-wire reign on the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder is suddenly looking perilous, in part due to circuit’s unbalanced schedule format.
Two consecutive losses (to Tampa Bay and a 51-point drubbing by the Miami Saints at Ft. Lauderdale) have brought St. Petersburg back to within striking distance of the rest of the pack.
With just three games remaining on the schedule, the Swans likely can maintain a Finals spot with any victory – but it may not work out that way.
At 3-1, the second-place Miami Saints are of course the major threat, but the upstart Bombers (2-2), the Florida Lions (2-0) and Starfish FC (1-2) also all loom large for the stretch run, as each has up to six games remaining, and each could pass the Swans up on the chase.
St. Pete’s slumping score differential also lurks as a potential hazard, with two blowout losses making the Swans’ current view from atop the ladder one full of dangers from below.
While the St. Petersburg will not return to MLF action until August 11 in a rematch with Miami (3-1), the ladder battle will heat up Saturday, July 21 when the Lions take on Starfish FC in a matinee twin-bill.
A sweep of this weekend’s affair would rocket the Leos to 4-0, into second place and easily within striking range.
For nearly a full month, the Bloods can only watch and hope for the best.
BOMBERS PREVAIL IN LAST-MINUTE SHOCKER
The resilient Tampa Bay Bombers prevailed in the season’s hardest fought battle, upending the ladder-leading St. Petersburg Swans 188.8.131.52 – 184.108.40.206, Saturday night at Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.
Trying to close out a razor-thin 2-point lead with under ninety seconds left, St. Petersburg saw their view from the top of the ladder suddenly fill with contenders coming from all sides.
After a costly midfield turnover was converted into a game-deciding score by the Bombers’ take-charge Kyle Roun.
Roun’s untouched, full-steam run through the corridor and emphatic major put the Bombers ahead as the clock wound down, and an errant desperation kick out from the goal line on the Swans’ last gasp iced the affair for Tampa Bay.
With the win, Tampa Bay (2-2, 8 pts.) charges into a suddenly-crowded race on the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership ladder, while the stagnant Bloods (5-3, 20 pts.) see their margin for error quickly slipping away.
The Major League Footy schedule format sees the Bombers now presented with a real chance to rise through the run home.
Tampa Bay has four games remaining on the season, while St. Petersburg has just three contests left.
While any win virtually guarantees St. Petersburg a shot at the flag, the mid-season skid has the Red and White simply in search of a positive result.
Saturday’s thriller was not without high points for St. Pete in the highest-scoring match of the season, however.
After falling behind by 12 points at the first break, the Swans steadied on defense, keeping Tampa Bay to just 17 points in the second and third frames – and controlled most of the fourth quarter play, despite an onslaught of accurate kicking by Bombers across the ground.
Unfortunately for the Swans, the fourth quarter remained 15 minutes long – and it was the last minute and a half that sealed their fate.
Major League Footy Week 15 action in Florida will see Starfish FC – also looking for an opening on the ladder, with seven games remaing – take on the Florida Lions in a matinee twin-bill at the Common at Crescent Lake.
In the equally-contentious Western Conference, the Phoenix Scorpions (3-1, 12 pts) will look to recapture the Conference lead as their see-saw battle to the wire with the Tombstone Marshals continues.
The Scorpions take on the West Side Bombers in a 10 AM MST start, Saturday, July 21 in Tempe, Arizona.
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
LADDER-LEADING SWANS LOOK TO RECLAIM ‘MO
The Major League Footy ladder-leading St. Petersburg Swans will look to rebuild momentum for the run home, when they host the Tampa Bay Bombers in a 7 PM ball-up, Saturday at Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.
Returning from a two-week bye – and seeking to shake off a stinging 100-49 loss in Miami their last time out, St. Petersburg still tops the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season table at 5-2, but a loss Saturday could be an ill omen for the stretch run.
With Head Coach Greg Bray back in Victoria until late August, it will fall on Assistant Coach Matt Elliott to avenge the shock defeat to the Saints.
Elliott is expected to focus on the defensive proceedings on the skinny and fast track at the friendly confines of the Largo Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, the Bombers (1-2) may have suffered a bit of a blow from the unpredictable Florida summer weather coming into Saturday’s action, as a June 30 twin-bill vs. Starfish FC was postponed due to severe conditions.
While that double-header has been rescheduled for July 28, the Bombers could have used all eight of those points to pressure the ladder-leading Swans.
Instead, Tampa Bay will be seeking to bank a win Saturday to keep pace. A loss would be potentially crippling for the Bombers chances to finish in the top four.
MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY WEEK 14: TAMPA BAY v. ST. PETERSBURG, 7PM EDT
Largo Sports Complex, Largo, FL.
STREAKING SCORPIONS ON THE RISE
Like their namesake city, the Phoenix Scorpions have overcome an early-season defeat, rising to take over first in the MLF Western Conference, after defeating Tombstone 61-40, Saturday at Tempe Sports Complex in Tempe, Arizona.
The win is the Scorpions’ third on the trot, and suddenly finds Phoenix in sole possession of third place on the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder.
With St. Petersburg (5-2) taking on the Tampa Bay Bombers (1-2) in the East, and Tombstone (2-1) looking to reclaim their winning ways in an early match with West Side (1-1), the MLF ladder race is heating up as summer tightens its grip in the circuit’s sultry locales.
The Marshalls, holding a slim advantage in percentages, can win back third on the ladder with a positive result next weekend. Tampa Bay – perhaps feeling the pinch after a double-header was called due to severe weather – needs a win to keep pace with the league-leading Swans and the red-hot Miami Saints.
McINTOSH RUNAWAY LEADER FOR SCORING TITLE
Gold Coast gun and Florida import Ben McIntosh is the runaway leader in the race for the 2018 Major League Footy Scoring Leadership.
The former AFL Queenslander has cooled only slightly in the last two weeks, slowing from an 11-goal-per-game average in the early going, to a still-outstanding 5-6 per game in matches against the Bombers and Saints.
Miami’s Neil Cohen – trailing McIntosh by thirty goals after the two each duked to a five goal performance – remains the favorite to take the runner-up in league scoring.
Cohen, in turn, leads St. Petersburg’s Jason Blackbourn by a comfortable 32 total points as the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season heads into Week 13.
McIntosh, who spent some time on multiple sides early in the year, has been assigned to the Florida Lions, where he revels in playing in the jumper of his Labrador rivals, Palm Beach Currumbin.
|BLACKBOURN, ST. PETE||9||4||58|
|CRITTENDEN, TAMPA BAY||8||6||54|
|LUMSDEN, ST. PETE||3||1||19|
SCORPS LOOKS TO STING DEVILS TO LADDER ABYSS
Coming off a rebound week in which they posted their first win on the season, the Phoenix Scorpions stand poised to inflict devilish harm to the Tempe side in this Saturday’s MLF Western Conference match-up.
Ball-up at Tempe Sports Complex is 10 AM MST.
Having fallen to the debutant West Side Bombers 90-54 in their first match of the Summer Series in the Valley of the Sun, the Scorpions eked their way to an equalizer, running out 60-48 winners in last Saturday’s re-match.
This week, the stakes get higher, as Phoenix can make a move up the ladder and come level with the Tombstone Marshalls (2-0) in the win column.
That result would push Tempe into the 12th spot on the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder – or worse, as the Devils have only a 13-point advantage on the currently cellar-dwelling Lakeland Tigers (0-3).
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 220.127.116.11 – 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 18.104.22.168 – 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!