Euro Cup 2018 Wrap-Up

Two new champions of Europe have been crowned over the weekend, as the Irish Banshees and Danish Vikings took the honours at the continents premier international Australian Football spectacle in Cork on Saturday.

With 24 teams representing 15 different nations across the men’s and women’s divisions of the tournament, a huge pool of almost 400 players and staff descended on the Cork Institute of Technology for a 64-match footy festival.

The Irish chill and persistent rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd, with all eyes on the reigning champions from England, as the Dragonslayers (men) and Vixens (women) set out on their title defence.

While the traditional powerhouses from England, Ireland, Croatia and Denmark were expected to make waves, the day’s early highlight came from the German Eagles women on their Euro Cup debut, as they triumphed over the Danish Valkyries to secure a historic first ever win.

Their enthusiasm upon hearing the final siren typified the spirit of the entire day, with the progression of the developing football nations noticeable for all in attendance and small gains celebrated as heartily as any of the key wins by those at the top end of the draw.

The Irish Banshees, winners of last year’s International Cup in Melbourne, were out to claim Euro Cup retribution for their loss to England in the previous year’s Final, and did their part to set up the tantalising rematch by accounting for Croatia, Scotland & France in the group stages, before toppling Sweden in the Semi-Final.

The Vixens duly kept up their end of that bargain by beating Croatia in their semi-final to earn a place in the decider, but their male counterparts were not so lucky as they hit a major hurdle in the form of the Danish Vikings.

The Vikings had taken all before them on their return to the competition after missing the 2017 edition in Bordeaux, and their convincing victory over the Dragonslayers added more fuel the fire as they stormed into a final against the Irish Warriors.

An increasingly parochial home crowd were revelling in the prospect of an Irish double as the day wore on, and the Banshee’s visibly fed off that atmosphere to put England to the sword from the word go, running away with the game by 25-points to secure their third Euro Cup title.

With that first-leg in the bank expectation turned to Ireland’s men, but despite the typically spirited performance, the Warriors were never able to head the Dane’s, as the Vikings kept the home nation at arm’s length for the duration of the contest.

It was Denmark’s first Euro Cup title since 2015, and based on their performances throughout the day it would seem unlikely they will wait as long to secure their next piece of silverware, as they set an impressive standard for European sides to match in the huge cycle of international football which looms.

Mella Morey and Mike Currane hold the trophy aloft

Final Standings

Men’s Division:

1. Denmark

2. Ireland

3. Croatia

4. England

5. France

6. Netherlands

7. Germany

8. Scotland

9. Wales

10. Sweden

11. Tel Aviv

12. Czech Republic

13. Austria

14. Russia

15. Switzerland


Men’s Team of the Tournament:

Austria: Jan Lewis

Croatian Knights: Josip Habljak

Czech Republic Dragons: Karel Masek

Danish Vikings: Jakob Overgaard

England Dragonslayers: Luke Booth

French Coqs: Thibaut Sarin

Netherlands Flying Dutchman: Kieran Keesmaat

Irish Warriors: Paul O’Halloran

Russian Czards: Aleksandr Dobrodii

Scottish Clansmen: David Jordan

Swiss Mountain Cocks: Stefan Burgener

Swedish Elks: Buster Sund

Tel Aviv Cheetahs: Shir Shalev

Welsh Red Dragons: Scott Jones

Player of the Tournament: Phillip Evermann (German Eagles)


Women’s Division:

1. Ireland

2. England

3. Sweden

4. Croatia

5. Germany

6. Scotland

7. Denmark

8. France

9. Wales


Women’s Team of the Tournament:

Croatian Queens: Ana Barisic

England Vixens: Rania Ramadan-Turner

French Gauloises: Camille Portal

German Eagles: Theresia Meisher

Irish Banshees: Aisling McCarthy

Scottish Sirens: Caroline Sellar

Swedish Ravens: Tilda Bengtsson

Welsh Wyverns: Mary Pickard

Player of the Tournament: Maria Falkesgaard (Danish Valkyries)

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe