It is now do-or-die for the Community Football League and Women’s competitions in the race to be crowned the competition’s best in September.
A stunning weekend of finals football in the Community Football League and Women’s grades has complemented a big weekend in Second Grade and the Rising Stars.
One of the form teams in Canberra continued their winning ways in Third Grade, whilst the competition favourites advanced straight in to the decider.
A stunning upset in Fourth Grade has left the competition favourites still fighting for a Grand Final berth.
The Regional Grade saw the two competition heavyweights do battle in a nail-biter, with just two points separating the sides.
Women’s Grade action saw the Division One reigning premiers fall just short of a Grand Final appearance, leaving them to face a firing premiership contender. In Division Two, two fierce rivals are left to face-off for a Grand Final berth against the reigning premiers.
SECOND GRADE (ROUND 16)
Tuggeranong 15.13.103 defeated Ainslie 7.9.51
Tuggeranong’s Nathan Costigan booted five majors to propel his side to a comprehensive win over the third-placed Tricolours. The Hawks now sit one win clear of Ainslie on the competition table, and are in the box-seat for the all-important second chance come finals time in September.
Queanbeyan 19.14.128 defeated Eastlake 9.7.61
The Tigers wrapped up their spot in the top four with a dominant win over the Demons at Allinsure Park. Nathan Edwards was one of Queanbeyan’s best, nailing six goals in the 67-point victory. The Tigers piled on eleven goals to three in the second half to collect the points.
Belconnen 36.24.240 defeated Gungahlin 0.1.1
These two sides have met three times this season, with the Magpies producing 268, 177, and now 239-point victories. It was the first time that Gungahlin managed a point against Belconnen, showing just how hard to beat this Magpies side will be come September. Patrick Horan, Rhys Hartwig, and Kane Peeters all slotted five goals apiece.
RISING STARS (ROUND 16)
Ainslie 28.16.184 defeated Tuggeranong 0.0.0
Ainslie scored a massive percentage-boosting win over the Hawks at Alan Ray Oval. Nelson Foley kicked nine goals and was judged as one of the best afield for the Tricolours, alongside the dashing number 28 Caelan Rice.
Eastlake 7.9.51 defeated Queanbeyan 4.16.40
The winner of this top-of-the-table clash was destined to move in to first place after the full-time siren, and it was Eastlake that prevailed in a nail-biter. Queanbeyan led at the main break before the Demons clawed their way back in to the contest to claim their eleventh win in fourteen starts.
Marist 16.10.106 defeated Belconnen 2.15.27
Marist remained within touching distance of a top-two finish after disposing of Belconnen with ease away from home. Belconnen trailed by just eight points at quarter time, before the students flexed their muscle to complete a comprehensive victory.
THIRD GRADE (FINALS WEEK ONE)
Woden 12.7.79 defeated ANU 7.9.51
The premiership favourites took one step closer to claiming a premiership victory, with Michael Stevens’ five goals paving the way for the Blues to get the win. The Griffins will now face the red-hot Rams in a Preliminary Final clash.
ADFA/RMC 14.12.96 defeated Molonglo 8.10.58
A stellar run of form in the back end of the season has seen the Rams move to within one game of a Grand Final appearance. Molonglo looked as though they may topple the in-form Rams, leading at the main break, but were unable to go on with the job. The Rams are without a doubt the form team of the competition, having disposed of Woden and Molonglo with ease over the past three weeks.
FOURTH GRADE (FINALS WEEK ONE)
ANU 11.16.82 defeated Harman 3.7.25
ANU stunned Harman in the Fourth Grade Major Semi-Final, handing the minor premiers their third loss for the season to leave them fighting for a spot in the big dance. When the sides met in the closing stages of the regular season, ANU just snuck home, before a devastating win gave the Griffins a week off to prepare for the Grand Final.
ADFA/RMC 10.8.68 defeated Woden 5.14.44
Staving off other finals hopefuls late in the season, Woden looked as though the finals-style experience may help them to an upset victory over the Rams. A tight contest in the first half, the Rams hit their straps in the third term to take one step closer to a Grand Final appearance.
REGIONAL GRADE (FINALS WEEK ONE)
Goulburn 10.12.72 defeated Cootamundra 9.16.70
Cootamundra fell agonisingly short of securing a Grand Final appearance against Goulburn, going down by a mere two points as inaccuracy cruelled their chances of victory. The two competition heavyweights were always going to provide a thriller in the biggest game of the season so far, and you would be hard-pressed to write off a similar story occurring the Grand Final.
Cooma 9.16.70 defeated Yass 8.7.55
Cooma put an end to Yass’ season with a fifteen-point victory to move one game closer to a Grand Final appearance. The Cats will now look to a do-or-die clash with the highly-fancied Cootamundra Blues for a spot in the Grand Final against Goulburn.
WOMEN’S GRADE (FINALS WEEK ONE)
Riverina 2.6.18 defeated Tuggeranong 2.5.17
The competition heavyweights met in the Major Semi-Final, with the Lions moving straight in to the Grand Final with a thrilling win over the reigning premiers. The Lions led at every break, but the Hawks wouldn’t die wondering, before a solitary behind in the final term proved the difference. Tuggeranong now face an in-form Eastlake side for a spot in the big dance.
Eastlake 15.5.95 defeated Belconnen 2.2.14
Eastlake will head in to the Division One Preliminary Final having completed a comprehensive 81-point victory over Belconnen in the Minor Semi-Final. The Demons were dominant all over the park throughout the contest. Belconnen’s season comes to an end, with the Demons now set to do battle with the competition favourites.
Queanbeyan 10.9.69 defeated Ainslie 1.2.8
The Tigerettes took a massive step towards winning their third straight premiership with a dominant victory over the Tricolours to catapult them straight in to the Grand Final. Queanbeyan were always going to be hard to beat, missing out on a spot in Division One on percentage. Ainslie will now battle their fierce rivals Molonglo for the chance to meet Queanbeyan in the decider.
Molonglo 10.6.66 defeated ANU 3.0.18
Molonglo will be looking to clinch their second consecutive Grand Final berth in just their third season in a massive sudden death clash this weekend after making light work of the Griffins in the Division Two Minor Semi-Final. The Juggernauts cruised to an eight-goal victory to bring down the curtain on ANU’s season.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA