The new French footy season got under way this weekend with matches in Paris and Toulouse. Whilst two of the results were not surprising, one was down in Toulouse. On paper, the Paris Cockerels, Paris Cockatoos and Bayonne Toreadors were first round winners. However, the games had more to say than that.
The Paris Cockerels were hosting the newcomers, the Antony Blues. It is unlikely that the Blues could find a harder initiation, yet they kept the Cockerels honest all day. The final margin was 40 points, yet that does not do Antony justice.
The Cockerels led by just a point at the first break after both teams kicked five goals. By the half-time break the Cockerels led by twenty points, but still hadn’t shaken the Blues off. Going into the final term, 30 points separated the teams and the Cockerels scrapped to edge further ahead by the final siren.
The following article from AFL Europe reviews last week’s European Championships played at Wimbledon, London, for supremacy in the 18-per side format. The Irish Banshees were remarkable, not being scored against in any match, including the grand final. The Bulldogs were also too good for all opposition as they claimed back-to-back titles.
After three days of thrilling football, it all came down to the women’s and men’s Grand Final’s on Saturday afternoon to decide the winners of the 2019 European Championships. In the women’s final, it was the Irish Banshees against the German Eagles, while the men’s draw saw the Danish Vikings battle the Great Britain Bulldogs.
The appearance of the Polish Devils in Norrtälje, Sweden, for this year’s Euro Cup was exciting. That excitement, and a growing sense of permanence, grew further when the team arrived in Tallinn, Estonia to compete in the Baltic Cup.
This newest Polish Australian Football team is shaping as a far more resilient model than previous attempts in Poznan in 2011 (Bisons) and Bydgoszcz in 2015 (Cats) or any other forays. However, when this project is driven by Roger Scott, the man responsible to helping drive the earlier days of footy in Russia, it would be no surprise that he would be seeking big things. Roger is co-founder of AFL Polska as well as head coach of the Devils.
Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Essendon will add yet another Irishman to their list for the 2020 season and beyond. Building on their success with Conor McKenna (fourth in the club’s best & fairest this year) and the exciting recruitment of another potential Irish star in Ross McQuillan last month, Essendon has been impressed by McBride and delighted to bring him to the club.
ESSENDON has won a commitment from a second Irishman, with key-position prospect Cian McBride set to be a Bomber in 2020.
McBride was a strong performer at last week's NAB AFL Draft Combine, where countryman Oisin Gallen also tested.
The budding defender is 197cm and 90kg, a strong mark, ran sub-three seconds for the 20m sprint and placed in the top five in the running vertical jump (87cm).
In a match postponed since poor weather washed out the June Grand Final date, the premiership decider for the CNFA was played two weekends ago with the reigning premiers – Paris Cockerels – taking on the Stade Toulousain team from Toulouse.
It is unusual, and totally due to climate, that a Grand Final becomes the beginning of a season, but that is almost how things have worked out with the flag now decided and Round 1 of the 2019/20 CNFA season starting next weekend.
The match was almost played in two halves. The Cockerels were favourites heading into the match, but they were shocked early. According to the AFL Europe website, Stade Toulousain came out and “started to get on top with their ball movement as they started to control the match with their physicality and long kicking game style.”
The St Petersburg Cats have added another trophy to their ever-growing cabinet by taking out this year’s first ever Baltic Cup to be played in Tallinn, Estonia. The event saw teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Poland compete for the honour of being the best Baltic team.
The Cats and the Russian Bears headed to Tallin to meet the Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, Norrtälje Dockers from Sweden and the newly formed Polish Devils. In the end, after 10 round matches, it was the Cats team which took the title from the Dockers, benefitting from the tie-breaker clause which said that if two teams tied in top spot, the victor would be whichever team won from their earlier encounter.
The Farum Cats have brought to an end the Odense Lions fairy-tale by taking out the DAFL 2019 premiership. Whilst going into the match as firm favourites, the Cats lived up to the hype across the match before running out 76-point winners.
Any hope of a Lion upset was snuffed out early with the Cats kicking five unanswered goals for the opening term. Whilst the Lions kicked two of their own in the second quarter to outscore the Farum team, it wasn’t enough to significantly bridge the gap as the Cats went to the main break still 28 points ahead.
The premiership quarter proved to be just that as the Cats virtually sealed the game, kicking six goals to one and going into the final term with an even 10 goal lead. The final quarter would see the Lions play for pride and the Cats play for dominance.
They saved their best game of the year for last, but the Oslo Crows won the 2019 Kenguru Cup downing the As Battlers. In doing so, the Crows have defended their title from last year and raised the stakes ahead of the 2020 season for the Battlers to keep searching for a premiership winning formula.
In our World Footy News match preview (see: Kenguru Cup Grand Final This Weekend), the case was hinted that the Crows had turned a slow start to the season around and were showing good form. A narrow loss in their Round 3 clash was followed by their first win over the Battlers in Round 4. That change in form held true and the Crows were too good come the final.
It has been a massive year for the Norrtälje Dockers in the Stockholm Australian Football Federation (SAFF), culminating in a second premiership for the club. Downing the Södermalm Blues in the Grand Final was the icing on a pretty impressive cake in 2019.
The city hosted the 2019 Euro Cup back in June, and impressed the entire European footy community with a well-run tournament – a massive undertaking for any city. However, all that energy expended on the event made no difference to the Dockers’ charge to a Grand Final berth, nor did the team run out of breath on the big day, proving too strong for the Blues by 42 points.
The following excerpt from the http://www.afleurope.org website sets the scene across the season for both teams in the lead-up to the big match: