Contributed by: Peter Parry
You know Aussie rules is back for the year in Britain when the annual ANZAC Cup is played. This year the tournament returned to Clapham Common in London. On Saturday 16th April in the most perfect weather conditions the West London Wildcats made it back-to-back on last year, defeating the Wandsworth Demons by 13 points, 3-2 to 2-1, to take the 2005 VB ANZAC Cup.
West London ball magnet Justin ‘Macca’ McCallion took out the best on ground honors and big West London full-forward Peter ‘Bomber’ Van Blomstein kicked 16 goals for the tournament to guide the side to their Cup victory.
The tournament always draws a big crowd and this year was no exception. 10 teams played off on the day with Putney Magpies, North London Lions, Sussex Swans, Wimbledon Hawks, Reading Kangaroos, Nottingham Scorpions, Bristol Dockers/Swindon Devils fielding a combined team, and the national British Bulldogs making up the 10.
Each team played four qualifying rounds, resulting in semi finals between West London and Putney Magpies, and Wandsworth Demons vs North London Lions.
Despite failing to make the finals, the Bulldogs put in promising performances that augur well for the International Cup in Melbourne in August. The Bulldogs were coached on the day by former AFL premiership, Adelaide Crows and West Coast Eagles player Matt Connell.
The day also hosted a 20 team netball competition with Wildkittens A from West London Wildcats making it a great day indeed for the combined footy and netball club.
In a sign of the growing maturity of footy in Britain there were many sponsors involved and the event was hosted by Active Antipodean whose website is certainly flying the flag for Aussie expats in the UK, as well as attracting local Brits to the Australian game.
World Footy News