Irish take out 2011 Euro Cup
Saturday, October 15 2011 @ 11:05 am ACDT
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Ireland's mens and womens teams made it a clean sweep for 2011 as they took out both EuroCup's in the biggest ever EuroCup played on home soil in Belfast.
The men's team won under new coach Shaun McElhone as they beat the Crusaders, Austria, England and Croatia on their way to victory. The Women had a comfortable victory too in their one match, defeating the women of Switzerland who were making their debut at the competition.
England finished third thanks to a victory over Italy, while Wales were to emerge top of Division 2 (7th overall) as they beat Spain in the plate final. Finland won Division 3 (13th overall) when they took out a win over a developmental Sweden side.
Ireland is now reigning champion of the men's and women's International Cups, the European Championships, and the men's and women's Euro Cup.
Full scores from the day are available here.
AFL Europe General Manager, Ben MacCormack declared the event a huge success and was thrilled with the spirit in which the teams competed and supported each other.
“Teams from all across Europe converged on picturesque Belfast’s lush green fields of Queens University – Dub Lane. The colour of this tournament rivals that of the International Cup with 18 nations competing across the men’s and women’s divisions.” MacCormack said.
Croatia as current holders of the cup again proved tough opposition. Ireland followed their recent and stunning win of the International Cup in Australia with another victory in Belfast and took out the prize of Europe’s best team and winners of the 2011 EuroCup.
Squads like Russia, Iceland and Catalunya added unique interest to this ever growing competition. The Irish women backed up their inaugural women’s EuroCup win last year with a victory over Switzerland. The Swiss Swans were an excellent addition to the competition and their willingness to attack the ball and tackle will see their game improve over the coming years.
“The weather held off for most of the day and allowed the players to showcase their skills that had dramatically improved over the past 12 months. People continually commented on how the quality of play elevates each year. Exciting times ahead for AFL Europe” MacCormack added.
9. Europe Crusaders
European All-Star Team of the Tournament:
Johan Lantz (Sweden), Filipo Allessio (Italy), Joost van der Hulst (Netherlands), Ross Thompson (Scotland), Mario Vazquez (Spain), Temur Rudyshin (Russia), Dave Saunders (Wales), Louis Raphael (France), Sebastian Cafferatte (Italy), Sean Walton (England), Danny Armitage (England), Tomislav Cvetko (Croatia), Fran Tonkovic (Croatia), Brian O’Connell (Ireland), Brian Roche (Ireland), David Lally (Ireland)
Player of the Tournament:
Mens - Filipo Allessio (Italy), Womens - Kate Fitzsimons (Ireland)
Danny Armitage (England, 10 goals)