History was made at the AFL London Grand Finals last weekend after five different clubs walked away winners for the first time in history. There was also cause to celebrate after the delayed and condensed AFL London season was finally completed, after the cancellation of the 2020 season.
It was a fifth Men’s Premiership title for the North London Lions after a nine-point win over the West London Wildcats. The fixture itself was a rematch of the Lions’ last Men’s Premiership Grand Final, where they defeated the Wildcats by a single point.
Widely considered the most prestigious club-level Australian rules football match outside of Australia, the Lions held a five-point lead heading into the second quarter. However, the Wildcats responded to lead by five at half time.
The Lions kicked three goals in the third quarter to move back ahead, and held a 14-point cushion heading into the final quarter. A Wildcats goal with just over two minutes remaining trimmed the arrears to ten points, but it was too little too late as the Lions held on for victory.
Final Result: North London Lions 6.4 (40) def. West London Wildcats 4.7 (31)
In a low-scoring contest, the Wandsworth Demons won their fourth Women’s Premiership title after a five-point win over the West London Wildcats.
Making their first appearance in a Women’s Premiership Grand Final, the Wildcats were 13 points down approaching half time, but kicked their first goal with four minutes remaining to stay in touch.
The gap was down to six by half time and then five just a few minutes into the final term. But there was to be no last-quarter heroics as the Demons held on for victory.
Final Result: Wandsworth Demons 2.1 (13) def. West London Wildcats 1.2 (8)
The Shepherds Bush Raiders’ stranglehold on the Men’s Conference appears to be over after the London Swans stormed to victory over the Wandsworth Demons for their very first AFL London flag.
The Raiders had won all but two Men’s Conference titles since its inception in 2001, but in their very first Grand Final appearance the Swans capped off an unbeaten season with a 15-point victory of the Demons.
The Swans stormed into a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter and retained that advantage throughout the rest of the contest to secure a historic victory.
Final Result: London Swans 4.3 (27) def. Wandsworth Demons 1.6 (12)
It was a dominant performance from the Sussex Swans in their maiden Women’s Conference season, emerging as premiers having failed to concede a single point over the course of both the regular campaign and the Grand Final.
They ran out 72-point winners over the Wandsworth Demons in a Grand Final played in torrential rain. The Demons have made it to every Women’s Conference Grand Final since 2017, but their solitary win in 2018 means that the Division has been won by four different sides in four years.
Final Result: Sussex Swans 10.12 (72) def. Wandsworth Demons 0.0 (0)
It was a nail-biter in the Men’s Social division as the Ealing Emus won their first Men’s Social title since 2014. However, that doesn’t tell the full story.
In sodden conditions, there was one point in it at quarter time. After the Demons kicked the first major of the contest before half-time, they got their noses ahead and lead by five points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Emus kicked the first goal of the final term to move ahead, and followed that up with a handful of behinds to lead by four. But back came the Demons, kicking a second goal to move two clear.
With less than two minutes remaining in the final quarter, the margin was still two points. But the Emus kicked two behinds to level things up and force extra time. Extra time came and went, and the tournament entered ‘Golden Goal’ with the Emus kicking the vital score to win the title in sensational fashion.
Final Result: Ealing Emus 2.9 (21) def. Wandsworth Demons 2.2 (14) after Golden Goal