Edinburgh retains weather-hit Haggis Cup
Saturday, April 19 2008 @ 09:25 am ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The Edinburgh Australian Rules Football side has won the 2008 Walkabout Haggis Cup competition in Glasgow. The competition, held on Saturday 12th April, survived 2 late pitch cancellations by Glasgow City Council to bounce back in great style at a damp Bellahouston Park.
The tournament saw Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Dublin Demons, the Welsh Red Devils and the England Dragonslayers joined by the new Aberdeen footy club for the first time, with Edinburgh too good for the Dublin Demons in the final.
Council officials pulled the plug on the use of a rain-affected Victoria Park Oval late on Friday afternoon, giving organizers less than 24 hours notice of the cancellation. A substitute venue was organised by the SARFL at Nethercraigs at short notice, only to again be cancelled incredibly by council officials on the morning of the competition, with no solutions being offered to save the competition.
With sides having travelled from Ireland, England and Wales, the city's reputation was to some extent on the line as a destination able to provide adequate sporting facilities. A hectic morning ensued for organisers, but Bellahouston Park quickly became the obvious choice.
When the football got underway, Glasgow's own side faired poorly on the day, losing to both Group 2 opponents Edinburgh and England. It also lost its 5th place play off against Wales to end the day winless, although the side's performances deserved more return.
However, Edinburgh's fortunes were the exact opposite, with big wins against the other sides in Group 2.
In Group 1, last years beaten finalists the Dublin Demons were as good as predicted, winning all their games to top the group against the newly formed Aberdeen Aussie Rules side and the Wales Red Devils.
A hotly contested final saw Edinburgh take on the Demons. It was a fiery affair, but Edinburgh's slick skills in the damp weather made the difference in the 41-12 win.
The fallout from the council's role in the 2008 competition may continue for some time however. The April rain showers, while at times heavy, were not torrential and the SARFL were staggered by the city's unwillingness to assist in providing a ground. The city normally supports a full rugby and soccer calendar during the wettest winter months, yet somehow spring rain closed the city's grounds, at the risk of cancelling an event which had been months in the planning.
The SARFL would like to thank all of the sides who travelled to compete in the competition.