Last weekend, the Irish AFL teams, the Banshees and the Warriors, travelled to Kiel in Germany to compete in the AFL Euro Cup. This is a 9-a-side, single-day tournament where all of the top national teams of Europe face off against one another to battle for this prestigious title.
The Banshees, who have been the dominant force in the women’s game in Europe for many years, started the day strong and comfortable. They racked up points in their first few games of the day – against the German Eagles and the Swiss Heidis. Their second set of round games was significantly more physical, against the Northern Irish team, the Machas, and the Scottish Sirens. The Banshees were pushed to elevate themselves to be able to come out of these games with a strong victory, to progress into the semi-finals.
The Banshees were pitted against the Swedes in the semi-finals; a talented and much-improved team that pushed the Irish women to the limit, closing the gap to just one point at the very start of the second half after three goals in quick succession. The Banshees replied to the Swedes’ contest with seven successive goals in seven minutes, allowing the Banshees to progress into the Grand Final with a strong lead.
The other semi-final saw the Scottish women dominate the English Vixens, leading the Sirens to progress into the Grand Final against the Banshees.
The Scottish women put up a strong, brutal battle, with the Sirens taking the first score of the game and an early lead. The Banshees, although tired and down two players due to injury, pushed along and put up some impressive scores, pushing the Irish team into the lead by the end of the first half.
The second half was a nail-biting 12 minutes of the Banshees trying to shut down the Scottish team’s offensive tactics and working the ball steadily into their own forward line. When the final whistle came, the Banshees had successfully retained the Euro Cup title for the fourth time in a row.
The Warriors, The men’s Irish team, the Warriors, also won the men's division. This is the first time that Ireland have had a double win in the competition and AFL Ireland now holds all European AFL titles available.
This is a massive achievement for AFL in Ireland, as it is the first time one country has held all available titles. The sport is just growing from strength to strength in Ireland, as AFL Ireland looks forward to the International Cup that will be held in Australia next year.
The Irish Warriors and Banshees are proudly sponsored by Maldron Hotels, Wolfe Tones GAC Melbourne, MyBioHacker, Nexventur, and Chemist Warehouse.