Local Footy: Desert dash fails to deter Falcons

By Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket

The Abu Dhabi Falcons footy team made sure they did not stray into the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia when they crossed the border on their road trip to Muscat in Oman for last weekend’s fourth-round clash in the Middle East AFL.

Despite getting to the ground only 15 minutes before the start of the game after a six-hour car journey across the desert, the Falcons hit the ground running in the first quarter to score a stunning 6.2 to 2.1.

A spirited comeback from the Muscat Magpies in the second quarter in which they kicked 5 goals was snuffed out by the Falcons, who rallied late in the term with 3 goals that gave the visitors a 9.5 (59) to 7.3 (45) half-time lead.

Abu Dhabi ensured there was no second half fightback from the Muscat team and despite a raft of injuries that reduced the bench to two fit players the Falcons ran away to record a 63-point victory. Stand-in full-forward Matt Woods kicked seven goals on one good leg.

The win keeps the Abu Dhabi team in second place, which is vital to its grand final chances as the finals system is based on 1st v 2nd in the grand final and 3rd v 4th for third place.

Meanwhile competition front-runners the Dubai Heat maintained flag favouritism with a comfortable 56-point win over the Dubai Dragons at the Sevens rugby complex in Dubai. The match was played in constant drizzle – a most unusual occurrence in the Middle East. Heat full-forward Andrew Schauble (ex Collingwood and Sydney) adapted well to the conditions and booted five majors.

Heavy rain in Bahrain forced the postponement of the Bahrain Blues v Dubai Dingoes fixture. The match will be rescheduled.

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