The second season of the Abaco Flag Football League (AFFL) culminated in a spectacular championship event at the Murphy Town Ball Park on Saturday, June 11 which saw exciting competition in both Men’s and Women’s flag football broadcast live across the country.
The Abaco Flag Football League Championship Cup excitement began with the Women’s Division as the Firebirds – a new team this season – took on last year’s Champions, the Panthers.
The first half of the match was a defensive struggle between the two teams as they battled up and down the field but both defenses staved off their opponent’s attempts to score in the first half. The Firebirds were the first to get on the board and followed that with another touchdown off interception before the Panthers scored their first points of the game.
The Panthers threatened to tie the game with four minutes to go when they got an interception deep on the Firebirds side of the field, but the resilient Firebirds got an interception back, and then retaliated with their final scoring drive. When the final seconds rolled off the clock the Firebirds emerged Champions with a score of 19 to 6.
With three interceptions, including a pick-six, Geneva Thomas was awarded the Women’s Championship Game MVP Trophy.
The Men’s Division featured the battle between the number one seed and runners-up from last year’s Championship, the Pirates taking on the third place Tigers who beat last year’s Championship Team to make it to the final showdown of the season.
The teams battled back and forth but it was a dominant defensive showing from the Pirates with multiple interceptions that helped their offense lead them to an 18 to 6 lead by halftime. The Tigers fought back in the second-half, shutting down the Pirates offense, but in the end could not score enough to prevent the Pirates win. The final score was 18 to 13 as time ran out on the Tigers.
Eduardo Stuart earned the MVP trophy with his two interceptions and one touchdown in the Championship game.
Following in the footsteps of the Abaco Youth Football Association (AYFA) the AFFL invited Cable Channel 12 NB12 (recently rebranded Our TV) to do a live broadcast of the Championship Games.
AFFL President Timothy Roberts said, “We want to continue to capture the excitement of the sport of Flag Football in Abaco as well as promote Abaco across the Bahamas. I am looking to make the event next year even bigger and better!”
Mr. Roberts was also extremely pleased with the level of competition throughout the year and “the Championship Games highlighted what truly talented people we have in Abaco.”
While the season has officially come to an end flag football is still active with teams currently getting ready to represent Abaco at the Grand Bahama Flag Football League (GBFFL) tournament and Bahamas Nationals coming up at the end of July, beginning of August. “As we put together teams to represent Abaco we are looking for sponsors to assist with travel, room and board and uniforms,” Mr. Roberts noted.
Also on the horizon is the proposed Flag Football World Cup slated to be in Grand Bahama in September and later in October there is a tournament in Nassau as well.
“Flag football is the fastest growing sport in the Bahamas and is really big in many other parts of the region and the world, so we are going to look at doing all we can to leverage opportunities to represent Abaco locally and abroad with the incredible talent we have,” he said.