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.


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