x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai Heat clinch AFL Middle East title

As successful runs go, two seasons without a defeat is not to be sniffed at and that is exactly what the Dubai Heat AFL Middle East team achieved.

DUBAI // As successful runs go, two seasons without a defeat is not to be sniffed at and that is exactly what the Dubai Heat AFL Middle East team achieved. The Heat secured the minor premier two weeks ago when they squeaked in front of Abu Dhabi Falcons by two points and they took their domination of the league to a new level, defeating the Falcons in the Grand Final by 54 points. A number of absences hindered the Falcons, who made the trip to Dubai without their leading player, Ben Williams, the top goal kicker, Marc Peterson, who sustained a broken wrist in the minor premier clash and key player, Brad Foal. Dubai Heat, on the other hand, benefitted from the return of Best on Ground winner, James Hope, who, back in an Aussie Rules frame of mind after taking time out to concentrate on the recent Abu Dhabi Triathlon, kicked seven goals and three behinds. The Heat, who put 11 goals on the board to the Falcon's two by half-time, started strongly. But the Abu Dhabi side fought back in the concluding two quarters, with both sides scoring four in the third and one apiece in the last. The final score was 16.11.107 for the Heat to 7.11.53 for the Falcons. "It was another physical game, which is what we expected," said the Heat's Cameron Hooton. "There's probably some arrogance in the Heat camp now, but we won't be resting on our laurels." Another Heat record must now be defended ? October's Asian Championship in Shanghai, which they have now won in consecutive years. "We'll have a few months off and then get into training in a big way in the summer," said Hooton. It was a successful day for Dubai sides as the Dubai Dragons claimed victory over the Bahrain Blues in the third-place playoff.

stregoning@thenational.ae