Photo courtesy of Frank Heuts Photography.

Ireland takes out Euro Champs

The Irish Warriors have secured the title as first ever European Champion in Australian Football after a hard fought win against the Denmark Vikings in last weekend’s grand final.

The Warriors ultimately won by 17 points but it was a tough competition and the win was well earned.

Denmark stormed out of the gate in the first quarter, overwhelming the Warriors with a fast and furious pace that saw them kick five goals to two.

However, Ireland regrouped and outclassed Denmark in the second quarter, kicking three goals to the Viking's one and bringing them to within five points of the lead.

In the second half, Denmark struggled to retain their lead, finally succumbing to Ireland’s two goal lead by the third change and only kicking one more goal in the final term.

The Warrior’s three-goal win was the crowning achievement after a successful competition which saw them demolish Germany and trounce Sweden in their preliminary rounds.

Ireland v Denmark Fulltime score
Ireland: 11.2 (68) defeated Denmark: 8.3 (51)

Goalkickers
Ireland: Rob Armstrong 3, Brendan Egan 2, Vincent Manning 2, Shaun McElhone 1, Maghnus Breathnach 1, John Enright 1, John Tierney 1.

Denmark: Troels Ottesen 2, Mikkel Norlander 2, Mathias Biron 1, Kasper Holm 1, Christian Rose 1, Jonas Nielsen 1,.   

In earlier matches, finals-host Sweden beat Great Britain by 10 points to take out the Bronze Medal. The Australian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr Paul Stephens, attended the final matches and awards ceremony.

Croatia claimed 5th spot after defeating Iceland in a high-scoring match that saw plenty of goals: Croatia 19.11 (125) to Iceland 12.11 (83). For much of the match the two sides went goal-for-goal however the Icelanders couldn’t keep up allowing the Croats to gradually extend their lead.

Germany claimed 7th spot after notching up their first win of the tournament over Finland: Germany 5.9 (39) to Finland 0.5 (5).

Overall the tournament was a huge success, with all teams playing with passion, enthusiasm and good spirits. Some of the developing nations also need to be commended for their refusal to give up or be disheartened. Healthy crowds of around 400-700 for each day of play also suggests the sport has potential to grow in the region.

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