AFL London Grand Final Previews

The waiting is over and it’s time for some of the biggest Australian Football Grand Finals outside of its native land. The AFL London season started back in April, and now just four fixtures remain in what was a packed footy schedule.

The premiers of four of the five AFL London divisions will be confirmed on Hackney Marshes on Saturday, August 3rd including the champions of both the Men’s and Women’s Premiership.

Here we take a look at the match-ups, which include rivalries, rematches and one side’s first Grand Final since 2006!

Men’s Premiership

This Saturday’s meeting between the West London Wildcats and Wandsworth Demons is the 12th time the two sides have met in the Grand Final.

Year Winning Team Losing Team
2018 Wandsworth Demons 8.13 (61) West London Wildcats 9.6 (60)
2016 West London Wildcats 14.10 (94) Wandsworth Demons 7.3 (43)
2014 West London Wildcats 14.13 (97) Wandsworth Demons 8.10 (58)
2011 West London Wildcats 13.11 (89) Wandsworth Demons 8.9 (57)
2009 West London Wildcats 11.8 (74) Wandsworth Demons 10.7 (67)
2007 West London Wildcats 16.17 (113) Wandsworth Demons 3.2 (20)
2003 Wandsworth Demons 11.11 (77) West London Wildcats 9.8 (62)
2000 West London Wildcats 11.12 (78) Wandsworth Demons 5.2 (32)
1999 Wandsworth Demons 14.10 (94) West London Wildcats 14.5 (89)
1995 Wandsworth Demons West London Wildcats
1992 Wandsworth Demons 12.5 (77) West London Wildcats 11.9 (75)

Last year it was the Demons who snatched victory by a single point, the smallest winning margin since the first Grand Final meeting between the two sides back in 1992. The Demons 2018 win snapped a five-match losing streak in Finals against their biggest rivals.

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This season, however, the Wildcats look like favourites after an unbeaten regular season saw them finish as minor premiers, defeating the Demons 117-32 and 117-48 along the way. They then recorded a 103-58 win against the Demons in the qualifying final two weeks ago and will look to win a record-extending 12th Men’s Premiership title this weekend.

However, in finals footy, anything can happen and the eyes on the world will be on the two most successful Australian football teams outside of Australia.

Men’s Conference

It’s a first-ever Grand Final meeting between the Wimbledon Hawks and the Shepherds Bush Raiders after the Wimbledon Hawks defeated minor premiers the Clapham Demons by ten points to secure a ticket to the big dance.

This is the Hawks’ first men’s Grand Final since 2006 which was the last of three consecutive losses to the West London Wildcats in the Men’s Premiership. However, with the new format for this year’s AFL London men’s competition, the Hawks find themselves in with a chance of winning their first premiership since 1998!

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However, they couldn’t have come up against tougher opposition. The Raiders will be making their 19th consecutive appearance in the Men’s Conference Grand Final, only relinquishing their grip on the title on two occasions (2009 & 2016).

The Raiders haven’t had it all their own way this season, finishing the season in second with a 5-3 record. One of those losses came in the final round of the season, defeated 6.9 (45) to 3.3 (21) by none other than their eventual Grand Final opponents.

Can the Hawks become only the second side in Men’s Conference history to deny the Raiders the crown?

Men’s Social

The Ealing Emus booked their first Grand Final since 2015 after defeating the Reading Kangaroos by ten points last weekend. They come up against reigning premiers the South London Demons who are undefeated in their seven Grand Final appearances, winning the last four.

The last time these two sides met in the Grand Final was back in 2015 when the Demons ran out 7.4 (46) to 1.6 (12) winners.

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Despite finishing fourth on the Men’s Social ladder, the Emus will be hoping to improve their Grand Final record which currently stands at just two wins from seven appearances.

Their match this season against the Demons was back in Round 2, with the Demons winning 7.5 (42) to 2.5 (17) on their way to an undefeated season. But May was a long time ago, and the Emus will be hoping that the underdog will spring a surprise come first bounce.

Women’s Premiership

Just like in the Men’s Premiership, there’s a rematch in the Women’s Premiership after the Wandsworth Demons beat the West London Wildcats by 29 points to earn a place in the Grand Final against the North London Lions.

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Last year it was the Demons who ran out 5.3 (33) to 1.5 (11) winners, but this year the result looks to be in the balance. In the Qualifying Final it was the Lions who defeated the unbeaten minor premiers 29-23 after recording 42-9 and 31-19 losses to them in the regular season.

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The Lions have now appeared in three of the five Women’s Premiership Grand Finals, but are yet to record a win after losses against the Demons in 2018 and the Wimbledon Hawks in 2016.

Meanwhile, it is the Demons fourth trip to the big dance and are hoping to cement their status as the team to beat in English Australian Football with their third Women’s Premiership title in a row.

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