The Birmingham Lions retained their national title after a scintillating Sapphire Series Championship Game performance against the Leeds Chargers – debutants in the title game.
The Lions, who have with this 56-6 victory, now secured four consecutive titles, dominated the game from start to finish, combining their irresistible offense and immovable defense to great effect to threaten the Chargers’ endzone and limit their opponent’s opportunities to puncture theirs, including an effective stifling of the ever-impressive Chargers’ Wide Receiver CJ Harrison.
The victory of the imperious Lions and the rise to prominence of the Chargers is only one side to a tremendous conclusion to the Sapphire Series. The competition served to demonstrate the continued growth and development of the women’s game.
The strength in depth which now exists in Division II bodes well for the future. The Teesside Steelers and Wembley Stallions rose to prominence in their respective conferences and emerging outfits like the Peterborough Royals and Cardiff Valkyries demonstrated the quality of emerging the sport’s emerging programmes, delivering good players backed by strong coaching and administrative support.
Jim Messenger, BAFA’s Head of Women’s Football, in reflecting on the tournament said: "Firstly I would like to thank our hosts for the Finals Day. They have put on a great event."
Messenger continued, "This year has really added to the short history of women’s football in Great Britain. We are fortunate to have some very talented players and staff who work tirelessly in support of their teams. On behalf of everyone involved in the women’s game I would like to thank all of them for their time and effort this season."
Photo c/o GW Images.
Final round results:
Championship play-off (final):
Birmingham 56 - 6 Leeds
Hertfordshire 40 - 20 Manchester
Top 4 play-offs (semi-finals):
Leeds 20 - 14 Hertfordshire
Birmingham 48 - 0 Manchester
5th-6th play off:
Edinburgh 20 - 14 Derby