Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.
ST. PETERSBURG CATS CLAIM BALTIC CUP IN THRILLING CONCLUSION
Five teams, 55 players, two umpires and one timekeeper, plus friends, families and Tallinn footy fans witnessed the first-ever Australian Football Tournament in Estonia on Saturday 5th of October 2019.
There were five teams representing four Baltic countries participated in a round-robin tournament: St. Petersburg Cats, Polish Devils, Norrtälje Dockers, Helsinki Heatseekers and the Russian Bears. It was the second-ever Baltic Cup after the first edition of the tournament took place in September 2017 in St. Petersburg where, in the final, the St. Petersburg Cats won against the Helsinki Heatseekers.
This edition of the tournament also saw a number of ‘firsts’ as the Russian Bears played Norrtälje for the first time, and it was the first club level tournament for the Devils after their participation in this year’s Euro Cup.
Each team played four games each, but by the end of the day, the winners still couldn’t be decided by points after the Cats and Dockers both finished with three wins, so it was decided by the teams’ head-to-head record. After that tie-breaker, it was the St. Petersburg Cats who ended up coming out on top after defeating the Norrtälje Dockers by 17 points.
That wasn’t the only thrilling bit of action throughout the day, as the Bears and Heatseekers also played out an entertaining draw, with both teams finishing on 5.3.33 when the final siren sounded.
“The tournament location, beautiful Tallinn, was the perfect city for all teams to travel. We were really lucky with the weather, so the playing conditions at the Nike Arena near A.Le Coq Arena were really good. The balanced teams made the competition very intense and interesting… For the intensity and the nerve of the games, the tournament felt amazing until the very end,” said tournament MVP Pavel Aman from the St. Petersburg Cats.
It was a successful day of football that celebrated the passion that the Baltic region of Europe has for Australian Football, and hopefully, there are plenty more Baltic Cup’s to come as it continues to get bigger and better.
- St. Petersburg Cats
- Norrtälje Dockers
- Helsinki Heatseekers
- Russian Bears
- Polish Devils
Team of the Tournament:
Maciej Burek (Polish Devils), Toni Kinnari (Helsinki Heatseekers), Buster Sund (Norrtälje Dockers), Ilya Levitskiy (Russian Bears), and Pavel Aman (St.Petersburg Cats).
To see all the finals scores and statistics, head to https://www.facebook.com/events/2186934054751460/permalink/2265679236876941/.
BAYONNE START CNFA SEASON WITH BIG WIN
On the weekend, the new CNFA season began with a number of games taking place across France. One of those matches saw Stade Toulouse take on the Bayonne Toreadors in sunny conditions as both teams looked their season off to a perfect start. It was the Toreadors who started the better of the two teams as they came out firing in the first quarter. Unable to match the intesnity and fast ball movement by Bayonne, Stade Toulouse only managed the two behinds in the opening quarter. Up the other end of the ground, the Toreadors were clinical as they kicked seven goals to lead by 44 points at the first break. In the second quarter, Stade Toulouse started to win more of the football, and after a tough opening quarter, they managed to score a couple of goals. However, the Toreadors continued their dominance in their attacking half, and even though Toulouse were more competitive in the second quarter, Bayonne managed to extend their lead to 45 points at the main break. The third quarter was similar to the second, with both teams battling hard, with a few bumps and bruises showing how physical the match was. Both teams continued to hit the scoreboard at regular intervals, but again it was Bayonne who extended their lead, albeit by just a point to lead by 46 points with one quarter remaining. Bayonne continued to control the game in the final quarter, and when the siren sounded, they had won by 48 points. However, Stade Toulouse showed that, apart from being outplayed in the opening quarter, they can well and truly match their opposition. Keep an eye on both these teams in what is set to be an exciting CNFA season.
Final Scores (CNFA)
Men’s: Stade Toulouse (68) defeated by Bayonne Toreadors (116).
STUTTGART TAKE HOME NECKAR CUP IN GERMANY
On Saturday, the 2019 edition of the Neckar Cup took place in Esslingen, Germany, as three closely matched sides travelled to play in the second ever edition of the tournament. The three sides that travelled for the Cup were the Stuttgart Emus, Freiburg Taipans (who recently merged to form the Zuffenhausen Giants) and the Winterthur Lions who attended all the way from Switzerland. All three teams were even matched across the day, but in the end it was the Stuttgart Emus who won the cup as they were just too strong for both the Lions and Taipans as the day progressed. It was an exciting occasion for all involved as they look to continue growing the game and hopefully the Neckar Cup continues for many years to come.
WEST CLARE WAVES PREMIERS OF AFL IRELAND WOMEN’S
The West Clare Waves have come out on top in the 2019 Harvey Norman AFL Ireland Women’s Premiership to add to their Super 7’s title won earlier in the season. On an action-packed finals day with four teams competing across three games, the first game saw the Cork Vikings and Dublin Angels battle it out in the Preliminary Final, with the Vikings coming out on top by 40 points to book a spot in the Grand Final. Up next was the Plate Final, and the closest match of the day saw the Cill Dara Sharks win by 14 points against the Angels. The day concluded with the Grand Final between the Waves and Vikings. After going through the whole season undefeated, the Waves continued their impressive form as they were too strong for the Vikings, going on to record a massive 91-point victory to claim another premiership on a big day showcasing the best footy on offer in Ireland.
Final Scores (AFL Ireland Women)
Women’s: Preliminary Final – Dublin Angels (4. 1. 25) defeated by Cork Vikings (10. 5. 65).
Plate Final – Cill Dara Sharks (10. 6. 66) defeated Dublin Angels (8. 3. 51).
Grand Final – West Clare Waves (13. 13. 91) defeated Cork Vikings (0. 0. 0)
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