Four Seasons in a Day - Day 1 at Nationals
Four seasons in a day. That’s what we had on Saturday in Lakewood Ranch; sun, clouds, rain, wind, humidity.
We also saw another slate of amazing footy matches, many of which were streamed online via USAFL.com. As in last year, there is still a lot to play for across all six divisions, with virtually no dead rubbers and many teams still with a crack at Sunday afternoon glory.
MEN’S DIVISION I
The Austin Crows ran their winning streak to 21-games, and go to 16-0 on the season after taming the Quebec Saints and Denver Bulldogs on Saturday. The Crows, behind Nolan Cox and Ben Carpenter look the goods, but they still have the L.A. Dragons on Sunday standing in their way if they want to make it back to the Granny. The Dragons and Bulldogs, 1-1 each, are still in it if L.A. can beat Austin, and get some help from the percentage sign.
In Pool B, Sunday’s match between the New York Magpies and Golden Gate Roos will be a virtual preliminary final, after both teams won by convincing margins over the Orange County Bombers and Dallas Magpies. The Roos played 80 minutes of flawless footy, winning their matches 131-0, while New York flogged their foes 112-3.
WOMEN’S DIVISION I
The Denver Lady Bulldogs are still very much alive for their seventh straight women’s D1 championship after convincing victories over Minnesota and Sacramento to put themselves at 2-0. They’re going to face a stiff challenge from a determined group of San Francisco Iron Maidens, who put forth two statement wins of their own, beating Sacramento and then New York by a 106-9 margin. They’ll meet at 11am tomorrow in a game that may very well decide the winner of the round robin tournament. The Freeze ladies, at 1-1, are still alive but will need to win out and get some help from elsewhere.
MEN’S DIVISION II
In Pool A, it’s the Columbus Jackaroos that are in the catbird seat after Saturday, as they went 2-0 with wins over Houston and Sacramento. They play Baltimore-Washington, who upset Sacramento by a point before going down in equally heartbreaking fashion to Houston. Wins by the Eagles and the Lonestars will force the finalist to be solved by the arithmetic.
On the flip side, the Calgary Kangaroos posted two easy victories to sit atop Pool B, comfortably beating Minnesota and Chicago. The Roos have the 1-1 Demons on Sunday, and again the Demons can upset the apple cart with a win, and that may open the door for the Swans if they can beat the Freeze as well.
WOMEN’S DIVISION II
After both clubs beat the Columbus/Baltimore-Washington “EaJills” in their opening matches, the Portland/Seattle/Arizona/Tampa combo defeated the Boston/Montreal/Philly/Des Moines/Chicago conglomerate 36-6 to clinch their birth straight into the D2 Grand Final on Sunday. The “EaJills” and the “Wild Bunch” will play off Sunday morning for the other Grand Final spot.
MEN’S DIVISION III
The 20-20 draw between the Portland Steelheads and Austin Crows reserves keeps them both alive for the D3 Final from Pool A. Portland plays 1-1 Philadelphia/BWE, while the Crows play 0-2 Fort Lauderdale. One team winning and the other losing would clinch the title for the winning team. If both win, it comes down to percentage. If the Hawks/Eagles combo wins and the Squids beat Austin, then it’d be Philly/BWE through in an improbable but possible scenario.
From Pool B, it’ll come down to the North Carolina Tigers and Seattle Grizzlies doing battle in a virtual prelim final after beating San Diego and the NY/Boston reserves sides by wide margins. Seattle is looking for its first grand final appearance since the 2009 D1 decider, while the Tigers are looking to play for their first crown since they won the 2014 D4 final.
MEN’S DIVISION IV
After nine exciting games down in Divvy four, the field of nine teams has been narrowed down to four finalists. Sunday morning will see the Tampa Bay ARFC play the Denver reserve sides in one preliminary final while the Ohio Valley River Rats play the Atlanta/Baton Rouge side.