x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Unbeaten Heat ready for showdown with Falcons

The table-toppers bid to extend their remarkable two-season unbeaten run as they take on their arch-rivals at The Sevens.

DUBAI // The AFL Middle East league wraps up its season today with a busy schedule that includes the grand final and a third and fourth-place play-off. Top-of-the-table Dubai Heat bid to extend their remarkable two-season unbeaten run as they take on their arch-rivals, the Abu Dhabi Falcons, at The Sevens. The Heat managed to finish top of the regular season by two points from the Falcons, and the Abu Dhabi side will be looking to avenge that today.

"There will be an element of revenge I'm sure," said the Heat player and AFL Middle East director of football operations, Cameron Hooton, as he looked forward to today's action. "There is a lot for both teams to play for. We are boosted by the return of our forward, James Hope, who has missed a couple of games while he was training for the recent Abu Dhabi Triathlon, and both teams have a couple of guys missing."

The Heat and the Falcons had gone into the minor premier (regular season) as the league's two unbeaten teams and Hooton said defeat would not have sat well with the Falcons. "We are looking at another tough, physical game," Hooten added. Kelvin Templeton, winner of the Brownlow Medal for being the "fairest and best" player in the Australian Football League with Footscray in 1980, will award the Best on Ground Medal, while Doug Trappett, the Australian ambassador to the UAE will present the Premier Cup.

The Sevens also hosts the third-place play-off between Dubai Dragons and Bahrain Blues which follows a series of Aus Kick games for under eights, under 11s and under 14s which start at 12pm. The final kicks off at 4.45pm. @Email:stregoning@thenational.ae