Walkers primed to make amends

Local women’s flag football has really taken off since its introduction last year and when the final is played on Saturday the action could be as entertaining as the men’s.

walkers primed

Hong scored a brilliant touchdown. Photo: Ron Shillingford

The Hammerheads Lady Sharks will take on last year’s beaten finalists Walkers Wonders.

Both teams are very familiar with each other and although Walkers will start favourites – like last year – they want to eradicate the pain of that inaugural championship loss.

Walkers beat Ace Paints and Decor 12-8 in Saturday’s semi and the Lady Pirates beat Zulu’s Warriors 21-14 in what was a very physical encounter considering it’s supposed to be non-contact. There were a few grumbles from the Warriors camp, but they still took defeat with grace.

Saturday’s games were played at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay and were all sponsored by Zulu’s Red Bull. The final is on Saturday at either Ed Bush or the Camana Bay playing field.

The men’s final will be between Goldfield West Bay Hellcats and the Dog House Bulldogs. Hellcats beat Maples 12-0 in the semis and Dog House were 12-6 winners against Hammerheads.

Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy is the Wonders coach. He said: ‘I felt the last time we played Ace Paints in the regular season they were picking apart our zone by running underneath routes so decided to play a lot of man coverage today so that we could be a bit more aggressive and just man these ladies up.

‘I think we’re the best team, we always have been and should be able to win championships. This time we’re going to be more focused. I think we went in there a little over confident last time and that probably cost us, but this year we’re not taking anything for granted.

‘We know how much it hurts to lose in the final so this time we’ll be ready. So if we lose this time, it’s because we lost to a better team and not because we beat ourselves.’

Jordana Clarke said: ‘Hopefully we’ll do better this time than last year. I hope we win.’

Lisa Malice, quarterback of Ace Paints, was the team’s driving force. She said: ‘We gave it our all. There were a few breakdowns here and there and a few missed tackles and that was the difference.

‘This was our first year, we had a lot of rookies. Only two people in our team had played flag before. We made it a lot further than anybody thought we would. Next year we’ll come back stronger, we can only get better.’

Hammerheads coach Oliver ‘Darkstar’ Parker, had mixed emotions on Saturday. His side Caybrew Farm Soldiers, lost in the playoffs the previous week so won’t be defending their title, but at least he could see his women’s team triumph.

‘This was a good team effort,’ he said. ‘The girls practiced hard and were really prepared. We had a nice game play and we executed it.

‘Zulu’s are a good team. We knew it was going to be a fight but we were ready.

‘Against Walkers it’s going to be another tough game and we’ll have to come up with another game plan. The girls are ready to play. This is what they worked all year for.’

Rex Whittaker, coach of Zulu’s, said: ‘We trained as hard as we could and executed plays as best as we could, it’s just that they played an awesome game.

‘This was the first year that Zulu’s playing and we had a mix of veterans and rookies. They worked hard, I’m very proud of them. We came in at second place going into the playoffs but the better team won on the day.

‘Next season we’ll go on. I think we set the tempo because we started so well and were undefeated in the first half of the season. Every team stepped up their performance against us. Unfortunately, we went into limbo and didn’t continue stepping up as the other teams were improving.

‘Walkers is a very good team and I think they’ll execute better than Lady Sharks in the final.’