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Match of the Round

CNFA Season Preview

For this week’s ‘Match of the Round’ we caught up with CNFA President, Alban Schieber, and got his thoughts about the upcoming season and the teams competing ahead of tomorrow with round 1 kick offs.

This season is quite special for us as it will be played between October and April when we usually play until mid-June. The reason is quite simple and quite exiting as well for all the players: we will have our Grand Final in the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris. Our 2017 Grand Final will be the curtain raiser of the last Top 14 game between Paris and Racing Metro 92. 

Another thing that will make this coming season so special is that for the first time ever, every single team competing in the 2016/2017 Leo Lagrange Championship has a real chance to run for the premiership or at least the semi-finals. In fact, all clubs have been doing a good job over the summer to get numbers, fitness and competitive players. 

ALFA Lions:

After a couple of “on and off” seasons, the team starts to have experience players surrounded by quite a lot of young athletes. The team has played for the first time internal games at training.

championnat-lyon

Blagnac Aviator:

Even though they are brand new in the competition it would be a mistake to think that they are not a serious competitor in the race to the semi-final. They are based on a few skilful players who have won two premierships with the Toulouse Hawks. They have had interesting numbers at training with 30+ players coming for clinics and training. Blagnac is a good place to recruit rugby players. We wish them the same first season that the Cockatoos had last year.

championnat-blagnacBordeaux Bombers:

For the first time since their last premiership, the club has finally break the ice and recruited before the start of the season. They have also been playing a few internal games to give a chance to the 30 players to get a kick and have a chance to show their abilities. They should be back in the race after two seasons struggling.

championnat-bdxCoyotes de Cergy-Pontoise:

They are probably the team to follow as they climb the ladder step by step. Every year they get better! And what’s better than runner-up? The Coyotes have raised the bar from playing entire games with 9 blokes a few years back to a strong grand finalist squad of 20 players last year. You can be sure that they are all pumped to climb that last step that is keeping them away from the premiership.

championnat-cergy-pontoiseParis Cockatoos:

The 2016 premier is going to run after a second title this year. The Paris team based on strong squad numbers with experience players who are both French and Australian. They also have a few new players coming along. Training together the Cockerels is a chance that give them plenty of opportunities to play.

championnat-pariscockatoosParis Cockerels:

Disappointed after a semi-final lost against their brother’s, the Cockatoos. They are very motivated to win the premiership again. As the Cockatoos, they have both French and Australians players with a good knowledge of Australian Football.

championnat-pariscockerels

Perpignan Tigers:

After bringing the club back into the championship last year, the Tigers hope to conquer the only “missing title”. For that they have been recruiting and securing players in Perpignan but they will also get some help from the Montpellier Firesharks (reborn this summer) and a couple of Australians. This should give them the extra boost to join the final 4!

championnat-perpignan

Toulouse Hawks:

Like always they are capable of everything. Strong, skillful and athletic, they are always hard to play and full of resources. If the injuries leave them alone, they are for sure one of the most dangerous team in the tournament.

championnat-toulouse

Good luck to all team involved in the 2016/17 CNFA Championship. We’ll be following the results closely.

Special thanks to Alban Schieber for putting together such an amazing season preview.

Match of the Round

Tyne Tees Cup

The North of England is set to light it up when they host the Tyne Tees Cup, 9-a-side tournament tomorrow. Organisers and current title holders, the Tyne Tee Tigers will be hoping to put in a big performance on their home deck of Gosforth Park. They be up against a strong Glasgow Sharks outfit fresh from their Scottish AFL Premiership as well as the always impressive Kingdom Kangaroos.

On the women’s side of the draw the England Vixens will be using this tournament as a warm up for the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon. They be locking horns with the Glasgow Sharks and AFL London side, the Wandsworth Demons.

Both men’s and women’s teams will compete in a round robin format of 2 x 20 minute halves which will see the top two from each team progress to play off for the much coveted Cup.

No doubt the Northerners will put on a show for the teams competing in this year’s tournament with a big night out on the Toon to be enjoyed by all competitor’s following the main event.

Best of luck to all teams involved and congratulations to the Tyne Tee Tigers for getting this tournament up and running.

If you’re in the vicinity make sure you stop in and check out the action. I know we’ll be following this one closely.

Check out the full details on the tournament Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1342103975815403/

Schedule

Pitch 1 – Men’s Pool and Finals                           Pitch 2 – Women’s Pool

11:20am Tyne Tee Tigers v Kingdom Kangaroos        England Vixens v Glasgow Sharks

12:20pm Glasgow Sharks v Tyne Tee Tigers             Wandsworth Demons v England Vixens

1:20pm Kingdom Kangaroos v Glasgow Sharks         Glasgow Sharks v Wandsworth Demons

2:20pm Women’s Final

3:20pm Men’s Final

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Player of the Week – Lisa Wilson

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

Name:

Lisa Wilson

Club:

Wimbledon Hawks

Nationality:

British

What position do you play?

Half forward/half back

AFL Team you support:

Crows/Bulldogs (can’t decide!)

Favourite AFL Player:

Taylor Walker

How did you find out about AFL?

My basketball coach at university used to play AFL for England and moved to Australia to play. When visiting in Australia I went to watch him at a game and he took me for a kick afterwards. On moving back to London I looked up Aussie rules in London and wandered down to the Wimbledon Hawks and the lads were so welcoming…fell in love with the sport instantly.

How long have you been playing for?

Just over 2 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

It was Wimbledon Hawks Ladies Day 2014 and we managed to rumble up 20 girls to play a ten aside exhibition game and within 5 minutes one girl broke her leg and by the end another had broken her hand and there were plenty of bumps and bruises to go around – loved it!

Best moment in your career?

Playing for the England Vixens and thrashing Denmark in the Euro Cup final in Croatia to become champions.

Any other information or quirky stories?

I am genuinely addicted to footy; since starting I have helped set up and run the Wimbledon hawks ladies, played for England twice, set up the GB Swans team, started the Clapham Cubs Auskick club and started umpiring.

 

Player of the Week – Maria Falkesgaard

AFL Europe Player of the Week

Maria joined the Odense Lionesses in 2015 and with a background in rugby, cattle wrestling and as a floorball goalie, she came to the sport with the strength of bear and the reflexes of a cat. She quickly showed great awareness around the ball and tremendous power both in contest and disposals. Her first game was played less than a month after joining the team and she scored 3 goals on her debut.

A month later she was badly injured and started watching AFL intensely and spent the summer practicing ball handling skills in Copenhagen with the Copenhagen Barracudas. By Euro Cup in October that year, her understanding of the game and leadership qualities earned her the title of captain for both the Odense Lionesses and the Denmark Valkyries. The same year she became top goal scorer in the Womens’ Nordic AFL and for the Danish Valkyries at Euro Cup. Yeah bra!

Name:

Maria Falkesgaard

Club:

Odense Lionesses (Odense Australian Football)

Nationality:

Danish

What position do you play?

Forward Pocket and Ruck Rover

AFL team you support:

West Coast Eagles

Favourite AFL player:

Josh Kennedy and Matt Priddis

How did you find out about AFL?

There was a tryout day at the club and I was persuaded to give it a go by friends who were playing

How long have you been playing for?

A little more than a year

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Had a massive hangover and taking a hard tackle in the first quarter so I had to go out for a couple of minutes, and then kicking three goals when I came back in

Best AFL moment?

Without a doubt, the goal against England in the final of Euros 2015 – go watch the replay on the tube..!

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

I am in general a very boring person, but I’ve got mad knitting skills and I taught my dog “play dead”.

Around the Grounds

Around the Grounds 30/8/16

Helsinki go back-to-back in FAFL Grand Final

The 2016 season ended victoriously for the Helsinki Heatseekers as they beat off a valiant Turku Dockers in the capital on Saturday.

Congratulations to the Heatseekers and Dockers along with the Finland AFL for putting on another amazing season in 2016. We can’t wait for season 2017 in Finland.

150 of the best for Port Malmo’s, Gaeten Blonde

The Maulers celebrated in style for one of their most decorated players, Gaetan Blonde, as he played game 150 at the weekend. The Maulers convincingly beat the Helsingborg Saints on their home turf by 213 to nil in a big day out for the club.

Ben Polmear kicked 13 goals while Simon Ward bagged 10. Check out video highlights at the link below.

Munich win through to AFL Germany Grand Final

Round 9 in the AFLG Premiership saw the Munich Kangaroos win through to the grand final with a comfortable win over the Berlin Crocodiles. The final score in that fixture was Munich 15.12. 102 to Berlin’s 8.4.52.

In the Championship Freiberg Taipains/Stuttgart Emus took the chocolates over the Frankfurt Redbacks with 20.11. 131 to 8.6. 54. The Hamburg Dockers defeated the Dresden Wolves via forfeit with the scores reading 80-0, giving the Dockers a healthy percentage booster.

Frankfurt and Hamburg will square off in the Championship decider on the 10th of September.

AFL SWEDEN wants you!

AFL Sweden is on the lookout for a new manager of the men’s national team along with a sponsorship manager for the entire association. For further details on both positions can be found by clicking through the link below.

http://www.aflsweden.se/2/index.php/sv/nyheter/32-two-positions-available-with-afl-sweden

Odense Lions knock of rivals Aalborg Kangaroos away from home

The Odense Lions travelled to Aalborg at the weekend to take on the Kangaroos and came away with a resounding victory, winning 118 to 44.

Christian Belling was awarded best on ground while Yossy Taihutto kicked 3 majors for the day.

Odense

Check out the video below of the Lions giving Birkir Gudmundsson a viking clap to celebrate him kicking his first goal in the Aussie Rules.

https://www.facebook.com/340565146058656/videos/1137188763062953/

 

 

 

Match of the Round

Match of the Round 26/8/16

Finland AFL – Helsinki Heatseekers vs Turku Dockers

The day of days has finally arrived for Finland AFL (FAFL) with the two best teams for season 2016 battling it out for the ultimate prize, to be crowned FAFL Premiers.

The Helsinki Heatseekers will do battle with the Turku Dockers in Helsinki on Saturday in a bid to become back-to-back FAFL Champions.

The Turku Dockers have had mixed results in season 2016 having registered two strong wins over Vaasa Wombats and Helsinki followed by a big home loss to the Heatseekers in the return fixture.

The Dockers have been best served by Elmo Primmer and Pietari Arikka this season. Both young chargers love to run and take the game on which bodes well for Turku in the 9-a-side format. The Heatseekers will have to keep a close eye on 2014 FAFL Grand Final ‘Best on Ground’, Alix Kalliojarvi, who has a track record of performing on the biggest stage.

The defending premiers, the Helsinki Heatseekers, have also been battling inconsistency this season as they have struggled stringing together four quarters of footy. Injuries throughout the year have been key to these inconsistencies with a number of key players sitting on the sidelines for long periods of time.

The Heatseekers will be sweating on the fitness of Adam Vassey, as a player of his quality will most certainly put them in the hot seat to go back-to-back. Sito Lopez is widely regarded as the top ruckman in the FAFL and will hold the key to the midfield battle come Saturday.

With a 1:30pm bounce scheduled no doubt the Talin-Urheilupuisto ground in Helsinki will be jam-packed with footy-mad Finns on the edge of their seats waiting with baited-breath to see who will be crowned 2016 FAFL Champions.

Best of luck to both sides involved.

The coach’s thoughts – Turku Dockers

“Helsinki are always tough to beat at home, especially with their full playing list available, but the Dockers guys showed in the Helsinki tournament earlier in the year that they can be beaten. It should be a tough game, with both teams keen to end the season on a high.”

 

The coach’s thoughts – Helsinki Heatseekers

“This year has seen the competition come a lot closer with Turku beating us in the opening round and us getting the second one back. Vaasa have been a very strong and tough team to get a win over and they are a very big and physical side and like to play hard. Saturday will provide a very good game and best luck to everyone and have a fun safe game.”

Player of the Week – Stuart McKeating

AFL EUROPE PLAYER OF THE WEEK 

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

Stuart McKeating has participated in the inaugural AFL Europe Champions League in March 2015 where the Redbacks placed 3rd. Since then Stuart has been in integral member of the Redbacks as well as being chosen for the Irish Warriors, participating in the AFL Europe Championships. Unfortunately the Warriors went down to the GB Bulldogs in the final but McKeating made an impact and cemented his position in the Warriors with his outstanding performance.

Name:

Stuart Mc Keating

 

Club:

Belfast Redbacks and Irish Warriors
Nationally:

Irish

 

What position do you play:

Midfield – On ball or Sweeper

 

AFL Team you support:

Belfast Redbacks

 

Favourite AFL player:

I’m torn with this one, for two different reasons.. I’m going to say David McElhone on the field because in possession he could find a sober Irish man on St. Patrick’s day. Then off the field I’m going for Conor O’Halloran from the Leeside because his flowery t-shirts are exceptional

 

How did you find out about AFL:

I work along side Gerard Walls and he had just returned from Australia after winning the World Cup with Ireland, so with the hype of the win I went along to a training session with the Belfast Redbacks and I never looked back!

 

How long have you been playing for:

About 4ish years now

 

What is your first memory of your first Aussie rules game:

My earliest memory is playing my first game, a preseason game against the London Wildcats in Belfast, I remember how slick, tough, and classy these guys were, we spent the majority of the time crashing into each other and picking each other up afterwards laughing. 3 years later we would meet the Wildcats again in the Champions League semi final in Amsterdam, a very close game ending in 2 points to the Wildcats (eventual winners) I remember thinking how much further on the Redbacks had came along with my own abilities.

 

Best AFL moment:

I’m not sure I could pick one moment out, I’ve scored some goals, produced big tackles, and even got to see first hand what the top level AFL players can do as I recently marked Marty Clarke in a league game, but if I had to pick I’d say it was witnessing Gerard Lenihan pull off the ‘specky’ of the season in Galway, although maybe after this coming week things could change!

 

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself:

I can confirm that Gerard Walls has indeed got a grizzly bear carpet in his living room, however the poor bear isn’t dead it’s just afraid to move

Around the Grounds

Bulldogs and Swans crowned Champions of Europe

The AFL Europe Championships came to a close last Saturday with the Grand Finals taking place at the home of the Championships, Motspur Park.

The German Eagles claimed third place in their playoff with the Swedish Elks as they held firm for a thrilling 1-point victory.

The GB Swans scored the one and only goal of the women’s final against the Irish Banshees. Tough conditions met the players and provided the large crowd with a real arm wrestle to watch.

In the men’s final the GB Bulldogs got their redemption for their last minute loss to Ireland in the 2013 Championships by convincingly outplaying the Warriors.

Congratulations to all teams who took part in the full-format tournament, especially their coaches and team managers who did an amazing job getting so many players over to London to represent their countries.

Football can’t be played without the umpires who we’d also like to thank for doing such a great job throughout the week. A special mention to Adam Pearce from the AFL who took notes and provided tips to our umpiring squad throughout the week.

Finally, to all volunteers and the great AFL Europe community, thank you for all your assistance. We look forward to our next major tournament, the annual Euro Cup, to be held in Lisbon.

wrap up article

Amsterdam White Devils claim the DAFA 9s Premiership

The Amsterdam White Devils came out on top of what was a see-sawing Grand Final in the DAFA 9s in Amsterdam over the weekend.

A last quarter surge was enough for the White Devils to get over the line against Den Haag Ooievaars who eventually claimed the inaugural DAFA 9s Premiership by 10-points.

Final scores 87 to 77.

Well done to everyone involved at the DAFA for the continued growth and development of Aussie Rules in the Netherlands. We can’t wait to see how the Dutch side goes in the Euro Cup in October.

DAFA 9s 1 DAFA 9s

Berlin League culminates in Grand Final rematch

For the second year in a row it was North vs South Berlin in the Berlin League. The minor Premiers, North Berlin Crows, were looking to enact revenge after going down to their cross-town rivals in last year’s decider.

It wasn’t to be for the Crows who again went down to the in-form Giants by 29-points.

The boys from Berlin won’t have long to indulge in celebrations as their focus now turns to Munich this coming weekend.

Congratulations to the Giants and good luck with the upcoming fixtures.

Berlin

Free access to WatchAFL

Jump onto WatchAFL on the Celebration of Football weekend starting on the 2nd of September with the EJ Whitten Legends game and run through to the 10th annual Hamson-Hardeman Women’s Exhibition Cup.

Click the link below and sign up below.

http://watchafl.afl.com.au/

 

 

 

2016 AFL Europe Championships

Our wrap up of our AFL Europe Championship final day is now live. Congratulations to GB Swans and Great Britain Australian Rules Football on taking out the top prizes.

Exceptionally well fought ARFLI(Australian Rules Football League of Ireland)! Your lads were absolute gentlemen and we could not thank you enough for the amount of assistance you gave AFL Europe throughout the entire week, especially when you valiantly carried the posts off after your tough loss (and every other game day!).

Well done to German Eagles AFL for taking out the third place final and coming down to support the ladies on the Friday, running water and umpiring!! Congratulations to the Swedish Elks on their performance all week, we can’t wait to see you guys go strength to strength for ‪#‎IC17‬

Finally, a massive thank you to our incredible volunteers and those clubs/individuals that helped make the week happen! The Wandsworth Demons, your marquee was exceptionally well used! Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, what an amazing night you gave us on Saturday to cap off a great week! The Generator Hostel for your hospitality for most of our group! And the Wimbledon Hawks for your home ground!

We’ll see you all at #IC17 or ‪#‎EC19‬! ‪#‎AFLinEurope‬

Third Place Playoff – Germany Eagles vs Swedish Elks

The final day of play at the 2016 AFL Europe Championships started with the third place final between the two hardest hitters of the men’s competition, the German Eagles and Swedish Elks.

After a week of near perfect weather London saved its worst day for last with a howling wind running across the field and providing one end with a four to five goal advantage.

After a very physical encounter earlier in the week everyone was expecting this one to be to the same tune and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With the Eagles running with the wind in the first term you thought they would have had the better of the play. This wasn’t the case with a silly 50-meter penalty gifting Jacob Lantz Sweden’s opening goal.

Ruben Streicher was throwing his weight around for the Eagles crunching players left, right and centre. He started up forward but was switch down back early in the piece too sure up a rattle Eagles defence.

Sweden had the better of the first quarter as they went into the break with a 1-goal advantage after holding Germany scoreless.

The physicality went up a notch in the second term as neither side took a backward step. Ill-discipline cost the Elks as Germany got their first two goals of the match from 50-meter penalties.

Playing with the breeze was proving more difficult than first expected as Germany went into halftime up 3 goals to 1 as they were able to keep their opponents scoreless.

The Germans gained the ascendancy in the third term and again kept the Swedes to their solitary first term goal. They were kept in the game through the sheer will power of Hampus Olsson who took a handful of intercept marks and bombed it long out of trouble countless times.

Andreas Svensson had another huge game in midfield for the Swedes and proved why he was later crowned ‘Player of the Tournament’ with another influential performance.

With a 3-goal lead going into the final quarter it appeared the Swedish side had run out of legs. They handled the wind better this time around and were peppering the goals early. 2 goals in quick succession to the Elks and it was game on. When Lantz bent one back from a tight angle they were well within reach and with only moments on the clock the crowd were on their feet.

The Elks were again bombing into their forward line and only needed a point to put the game into extra time. A long kick into the Swedes goal square saw the ball rush through for a behind. Unbeknown to the crowd a free-kick had been given for a push in the back with the Germans quickly kicking the ball well out of danger.

When the final siren sounded neither side knew of the result as the scoreboard displayed a draw. After a moment of discussion, the confusion was cleared and Germany were informed of their incredibly victory.

Full credit must go to coach’s Mark Woods and Ryan Tucker for their amazing efforts not only getting their sides to the tournament but for promoting a hard and tough style of football adopted by their respective sides.

In what turned out to be the match of the day the final scoreboard read Germany 4.6. 30 to Sweden’s 4.5 29.

Goals:

Germany: K. Haigh, J. Huesken, T. Menzel, J. Orlowski

Sweden: J. Lantz 2, K. Karlsson, C. Martensson

Best:

Germany: R. Streicher, F. Neumann, J. Jung, M. Schutoff, M. Thormann, T. Thormann

Sweden: A. Svensson, C. Martensson, H. Olsson, A. Olsson, B. Sund, T. Lindgran

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Women’s Final – GB Swans vs Irish Banshees

The much anticipated women’s final followed the third place playoff with only a draw and a 1-point victory to the Swans separating the two squads throughout their round matches.

The wind had picked up and was going to make a big difference in this game and whichever side was going to adapt quicker would come away with the much coveted title of ‘Champions of Europe’.

As expected it was an absolute dogfight to start the game. Stoppage after stoppage was created by both sides fierce attack on the football and their committed defensive pressure.

The crowd were in for a treat as the ruck dual between Clara Fitzpatrick of Ireland and Lea Cobham of GB was incredible to watch.

Onora Mulcahy was paid the utmost respect from the GB coaching panel as they opted to tag the ball magnet by employing her AFL London teammate, Rose Lewis, to do the job.

Despite it being a goalless first quarter the crowd were heavily invested in the game as the ferocity shown by both sides had passers by stopping in to see what all the fuss was about.

50-meter penalties seemed to be the flavour of the day as a GB centre-half forward, Rania Ramadan, was marched into the goal square to convert what turned out to be the match-winning and only goal of the game.

From here the game evolved into a scrap with nearly all 36 players on field descending on the Irish forward 50 to make sure nothing went through the Banshees goal.

The last quarter flew by as the Irish did everything they could to get within range to put through that much needed major. Full credit to the Swans defence who stood up when needed to repel anything and everything that came their way.

When the final siren sounded the home crowd erupted with jubilation and stormed the field to celebrate with the new champions of Europe, the GB Swans. The girls were out on their feet and should be proud of how they represented not only their countries but also the amazing development of women’s football in Europe.

The final scorecard reading 1.2. 8 to 0.2. 2.

Goals:

GB Swans: R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees:

Best:

GB Swans: L. Cobham, A. Saulter, D. Saulter, F. Blount, L. Smith, R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees: C. Fitzpatrick, O. Mulcahy, A. Payne, M. Walsh, M. Beaven, L. Connolly

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Men’s Final – Irish Warriors vs GB Bulldogs

The main event had finally arrived. The all-conquering Irish Warriors were against up-and-comers the GB Bulldogs in what was set to be one for the ages following their 1-point thriller only days beforehand.

Last time they had meet in the European Championships Final was in 2013 when a last second Irish snap gave the Warriors victory.

The Irish had been the form side all tournament, showing why they have been European and International Champions on numerous occasions.

The Bulldogs, in front of a home crowd, had other ideas and jumped out of the blocks early to register 5 first quarter goals to the Warriors 1 running with the wind. Andy Walkden contributed 2 of those majors and was looking dangerous whenever he went near the footy.

The GB side had come out with a plan and executed it to perfection in the opening exchanges. The big test for them was going to come in the second term when the Irish had the wind at their backs.

The second term didn’t go as expected for the Irish who were bombing away long whenever they got the football in their hands. This was exactly what the Bulldogs wanted as their spare man racked up a ton of the footy.

The Irish looked rattled and didn’t have an answer for what the Bulldogs were throwing at them. Their usual run and carry was non-existent and cracks were starting to show.

One of the best players all tournament, Kevin O’Brien from Ireland, was being tagged out of the game by GB’s, James Talbot. The little general from AFL London was quick to tell this reporter of his unsung efforts as a lock-down midfielder throughout the week at the tournament after-party on Saturday.

Likewise, the tournament’s equal leading goal scorer, Padraic O’Connell, was being well held by the dependable, Matty Goodman, whose added counterattack was immense for the home side.

The unthinkable had happened and the Irish had been kept goalless running with the breeze. The Bulldogs had their tails up going into halftime and with one hand on the trophy they weren’t going to let this slip.

A spirited halftime speech from the Irish coach had the boys in green raring to go after the main break. Two quick goals to Colin O’Lordian and Muiris Bartley gave the Warriors a sniff but to GB’s credit they absorbed the pressure and took control of the game.

A late goal to Andy Walkden calmed the nerves of the boisterous home crowd and gave the Bulldogs a 3 goal advantage going into the final term.

The Irish knew they could close the gap and with the wind coming over their shoulders the Bulldogs knew it was still anyone’s game.

The Warriors had the better of the final term but poor foot skills really hurt them going forward and they were unable to convert their chances. Time was getting away from them and when Walkden converted his fourth goal of the day it was all but over for the reigning champions.

A late goal to Kevin McDonnell left it too little, too late for the Irish and when the final siren sounded a new champion of Europe was crowned.

Andy Walkden was huge for the Bulldogs and became only the second player in the tournament to register a unanimous best on ground performance. A huge effort in a grand final by the GB half forward.

The final score read 7.9. 51 to 4.5. 29.

Both sides proved they be tough opponents when they play in next year’s International Cup in Melbourne and will do their Countries and AFL in Europe proud.

All sides should be proud of how they represented their countries and we can’t wait to see how everyone develops in the future.

A huge shout out to the umpiring squad for officiating an amazing week of football and to all volunteers who gave up their time to help in any way possible.

Hopefully we’ll see a few familiar faces at the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon.

Goals:

GB: A. Walkden 4, M. Cashman, D. Hastie, C. Britton

Ireland: M. Bartley, G. Murray, C. O’Lordian, K. Mccdonnell

Best:

GB: A. Walkden, L. Booth, J. Coughlan, M. Hudson, C. Britton, M. Goodman

Ireland: G. Walls, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Halloran, D. Joyce, D. McElhone, K. O’Brien

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The Top 10s

WOMEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Clara Fitzpatrick41Irish Banshees
Rania Ramadan28GB Swans
Claire Messent25Crusaders
Onora Mulcahy25Irish Banshees
Danni Saulter25GB Swans
Alex Saulter24GB Swans
Aisling Gillespie23Irish Banshees
Rebecca Dickson21Crusaders
Marley Beaven19Irish Banshees
Chloe Hall16GB Swans

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Aisling Gillespie6Irish Banshees
Caroline Sellar3GB Swans
Danni Saulter3GB Swans
Rania Ramadan3GB Swans
Ashleigh Payne2Irish Banshees
Lea Cobham2GB Swans
Chloe Hall2GB Swans
Naomi Curtis2Irish Banshees
Ciara Moane1Irish Banshees
Louise Darby1GB Swans

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MEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Andreas Svensson27Swedish Elks
Kevin O’Brien26Irish Warriors
Muiris Bartley24Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray24Irish Warriors
Jakob Jung22German Eagles
Hampus Olsson21Swedish Elks
Andrew Walkden16GB Bulldogs
Tristan Thormann14German Eagles
Buster Sund14Swedish Elks
Ruben Streicher14German Eagles

 

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Paudric O’Connell9Irish Warriors
Marc Cashman9GB Bulldogs
David Hastie7GB Bulldogs
Andrew Walkden7GB Bulldogs
Jan Huesken6German Eagles
Dominic Joyce5Irish Warriors
Jack Coughlan5GB Bulldogs
Muiris Bartley5Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray5Irish Warriors
Eoin O’Murchu4Irish Warriors

 

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#EC16 Women’s Day 2 Match Reviews

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Irish Banshees vs European Crusaders

The women went back-to-back in their reduced carnival format to determine which two teams would qualify for the final on Saturday. First up on the second day of play were the Irish Banshees playing against the European Crusaders.

The Irish girls felt right at home with the gloomy skies and drizzling rain replicating the climate of Croke Park in their homeland.

Naomi Curtis opened the scoring for the Banshees with a classy goal. The rain didn’t deter Marley Beaven who continued to take the game on with her blistering speed, even having a couple of bounces along the way.

Goals to Fiona Roarty and another to Curtis gave the Irish a commanding lead just before the halftime break. Samara Warren was providing great tackling pressure for the Crusaders whilst out on the wing and got the ball into their attacking fifty against the odds on a number of occasions.

Aisling Gillespie added another goal to her already impressive tournament tally just prior to the siren and it was four goals to nothing.

The heavens opened after the break and the match turned into an absolute scrap. Neither side were giving away an inch. The slippery surface was proving challenging for a number of the players with many going ‘head over biscuit’ in their attempt to gain possession.

Gillespie decided she wanted a couple more goals before the game was over and she did just that scoring two more before the final siren sounded.

Final scores: 6.5. 40 to 0.0. 0

Goals:

Ireland: A. Gillespie 3, N. Curtis 2, F. Roarty

European Crusaders:

Best:

Ireland: A. Gillespie, O. Mulcahy, C. Fitzpatrick, U. Murphy, M. Beaven, L. Connolly

European Crusaders: C. Messant, M. Falkesgaard, C. Perez, H. Canton, A. Daley, R. Gouldingay

 

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Irish Banshees vs GB Swans

The two powerhouses of the competition were next to meet on the hallowed turf of Motspur Park. Following their thrilling 1-point game the previous day the growing crowd was getting excited about the prospect of this match.

Ireland had the better of the opening exchanges with a goal to, you guessed it, Aisling Gillespie giving them the upper hand from the get go. Marley Beaven was in a rich vein of form, constantly utilising her pace to either break the GB lines or chase down opponents.

The match was very congested and despite the rain affecting the player’s skills and execution it was one of the most fiercely contested and intense matches of footy at the tournament thus far.

The Swans wrestled back the ascendency and were peppering their forward fifty. They just couldn’t sneak through a goal and the Irish defence were herculean in their efforts to keep the ball from sailing through the big sticks.

The Banshees took the 1 goal lead into half time but neither side were comfortably in control. This one was going down to the wire, again.

The second half started how the first left off. The footy was hot and the tackling was intense. As both sides tired the game opened up and the ball was moving around the ground more freely. Ashleigh Payne was causing headaches in the Irish forward line and threatened the goals a number of times without prevail.

Alex and Danni Saulter were doing all they could for the Swans to move it forward but behinds were all the hosts could manage. With a minute on the clock and the Irish up by 6-points the ball flung into the Swans forward for it to be marked by the dependable Chloe Hall, who rushed back off the mark and slotted it through to level the score lines.

With only seconds left to go the Swans marked about 35 meters out with the siren sounding in the background. Any score would get the Swans the victory but a flooding back Banshees side stopped the ball on the line to keep the scores at 8 apiece. Another nail biter between the two rivals.

With a draw and a 1-point game between these two they’ve set the scene for an absolutely incredible decider at 2:30pm tomorrow afternoon.

Final scores: 1.2. 8 to 1.2. 8

Goals:

GB Swans: C. Hall

Irish Banshees: A. Gillespie

Best:

GB Swans: A. Saulter, D. Saulter, C. Hall, L. Cobham, S. Morris, L. Wilson

Irish Banshees: M. Beaven, C. Fitzpatrick, A. Gillespie, O. Mulcahy, L. Russell, A. Payne

 

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GB Swans vs European Crusaders

The Crusaders were desperate to register a win before exiting the tournament and a battle-weary Swans side were vulnerable following their previous game.

The Swans were backing up from their nail biter just moments earlier and went into this one hoping to avoid injury after already booking a spot in the grand final the next day.

The footy was like a bar of soap after another downpour and made it difficult for either side to get any clean possession. Maria Falkesgaard of the Crusaders was at the bottom of every pack while Rebecca Dickon again collected a ton of the football at centre half back.

Laura Park scored the only goal of the half for GB in a hard fought match thus far. The Crusaders were yet to register a goal for the tournament and they had one last half to do it.

The Crusaders came out on a mission and they came so close to getting that elusive goal on a number of occasions. They just couldn’t string together that final kick even with the crowd getting behind them with every forward entry.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the combined Crusaders side who also played their last game of the tournament. In a great show of sportsmanship, the two remaining women’s teams and crowd tunnelled the girls off the field in a show of appreciation for getting a side together against the odds.

The GB Swans will now face off with the Irish Banshees in tomorrow’s decider with another thriller in store.

Final score: 4.6. 30 to 0.0. 0

Goals:

GB Swans: L. Park, D. Saulter, R. Ramadan, L. Smith

European Crusaders:

Best:

GB Swans: R. Ramadan, D. Saulter, L. Turner, L. Cobham, A. Saulter, Z. Rowe

European Crusaders: M. Falkesgaard, R. Dickson, M. Jansen, C. Messant, C. Duquet, R. Goldingay

 

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