2002 Grand Final
Saturday 21 September 2002
North London Lions 5.4 10.7 13.10 18.11 (119)
West London Wildcats 2.1 4.3 6.4 8.5 (53)
Lions Top Goalscorer: Darren Good-Giles 8
Best on Ground Medal: Glenn Wilkins
North London capped off their most successful season ever with a 66-point drubbing of West London in Saturday's 1st Contact BARFL Premiership Grand Final at Regents Park.
As tipped by the Footy Shorts Panel last week, the Wildcats came out determined to put the Lions off their game by applying plenty of physical pressure in the contests for the ball. However, Lions coach, Danny Pearce, ensured that his charges were prepared for the attention and would have been pleased with the way they kept their minds on the job.
In fact, by quarter-time the Wildcats were probably regretting not making more use of the wind in the first quarter with attacking football rather than concentrating on negating the Lions.
With Shane Jenkins and Chad Kavanagh dominating the ruck and Darren Good-Giles, who finished with 8 goals for the day, providing the finishing up forward North was able to skip out to a 21-point lead at the first break, 5.4 (34) to 2.1 (13).
The second quarter saw North continue to dominate with defenders Glenn Wilkins, who won the Keith Burley medal for best on ground in the Grand Final, Tim Ellis and Corey Weekes shutting out the Wildcats whenever they attacked.
With Chad Mainstone providing another outstanding option up forward the Lions further stretched their lead to 40 points, 10.7 (67) to 4.3 (27) at the long break.
West London's final hope was to mount some sort of comeback in the third quarter in order to keep them in with an outside chance in the last. But once again their forward-line failed to function whilst the Lions backline repeatedly turn defence into attack.
Among the better players for West London were coach Cameron Aubrey, before he was injured, together with Tony Bell and Joh Boyle who picked up the Best EC player of the Final award.
By three quarter-time the Wildcats were a defeated team as both the scoreboard and their three-quarter-time huddle suggested. The Wildcat's camp will be disappointed with some of the big guns going missing just when they needed them.
To be fair the Wildcats looked to be on the wrong side of the ledger when looking at the major matchups around the ground against a side that has dominated the competition all season.
The last quarter was played out at a lower tempo as the game drew to its inevitable conclusion and the Lions faithful on the sidelines started to celebrate.
Former Victorian Minister for Sport and five times Premiership player with Melbourne in the 1960s, Brian Dixon was on hand to award the medals and the Cup at the conclusion of a very successful day for the BARFL.
Lions coach Danny Pearce was ecstatic after the win "It's been a long year and the boys have really done me proud with their effort today and throughout the season".
The win meant that North London joins an elite group with Wimbledon as the only teams to have successfully defended their Premiership title. The Hawks, then known as London Hawks, securing back to back Flags in 1993 & 1994.
Lions Premiership XXIV: Tim Ellis, Rob Cockburn, Julian Doudle, Shane Jenkins, Chad Kavanagh, Glenn Wilkins, Chad Mainstone, Andy Norton, Mark Hamilton, Corey Weekes, Drostan McDonald, Stuart Fletcher, Alessandro Attanasto, Darren Good-Giles, Simon Durkan, Miles Westbrook (Captain), Danny Pearce (Coach), Rohan Stevenson, Phil Norton, Timmy Dillon, Joshua Tate, Clyde Murray, Ash Harris (President).
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