by Jo Buchanan
A happy new year to you all! Flag Football in Ireland is back following the Christmas break, with 7 games this Saturday and the regular season nearing its end. EBC North Division champions will be crowned as well as the possibility of EBC South Division champions also being crowned. Should the Vipers lose their 2 games, UCD will be EBC East champions with 2 games to spare. If the Reapers win their 2 games on Saturday, then they will be crowned EBC West champions – a big weekend ahead!
We start by looking at EBC South in the only divisional match-ups this weekend. The Rebels will take on the Wolves in the first game, followed by Rebels vs Mud Dogs, then Mud Dogs vs Wolves. Form would suggest that both the Mud Dogs and Rebels will take the points against the struggling Wolves, and should the Rebels beat the Wolves in the first game of the day, the Rebels – Mud Dogs game will become a divisional championship game. If the Rebels win, then they will have 18 points with two games remaining. If Mud Dogs lose, the most points they can then have at the end is 18, so the Rebels would clinch the division on the head to head tiebreaker. This is a must win for the Mud Dogs to keep their division hopes alive, the previous result finished 26-19 to the Rebels so this promises to be a great one with so much on the line.
The Mud Dogs will also play the Mullingar Minotaurs in a rearranged game, and should they lose to the Rebels, they will need to beat both Mullingar and Wolves to keep their wildcard playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately, the Wolves are now out of the running, but will be looking to use this opportunity to get an early start on preparing for next season. Mullingar will need to beat the Mud Dogs and other results to go their way to have a chance of winning the EBC West. Marble City Mud Dogs are hosting these games, starting at 11am.
Big day for the Reapers and Eagles as they can both clinch their respective division titles, Eagles only needing one win to clinch the EBC North and the Reapers needing two wins to win the EBC West Division. UCD will also win the EBC East title should the Vipers lose both their games, while the Vipers need 2 wins to pressure the Mud Dogs for the final playoff berth – all to play for! Game one sees hosts Reapers take on the Vipers. Both teams have suffered just one defeat, with the Reapers having played one more game so this will be a very tight game, one mistake could decide it. A loss for the Vipers is not an option while the Reapers could recover from a loss, but it would be difficult. Game two sees the Vipers take on the Eagles, which will be a hotly contested match-up. Eagles just need the one win to take EBC North, and will be looking to take it in this game to take the pressure off their final game.
Eagles and UCD are the only remaining undefeated teams, a tall ask for the Vipers. Eagles will take on the Reapers in the final game, where a win might not be so vital for the Eagles, but still very vital for the Reapers. All to play for in North Kildare, matches start at 11am.
An exciting day of Flag Football ahead, difficult for anyone to predict results with so much at stake!