European Championship Finals Report

European Championship Finals 2008 Report

The European Championships, unlike ours here in Ireland, is played as a series of tournaments at various centres all over Europe…Budapest, Munich, Paris, and so on.  This was the final tournament of the season and the final winners of the championship would be decided by the total number of points accumulated through the whole season by the competing teams.  Points are awarded for being placed in the first 8 places in the various tournaments and although the winners of the championship was already decided this year, with Brussels having a lead which could not be overturned, the tournament title was still up for grabs and all the teams were up for it.
In total 7 teams travelled to the tournament…Brussels, Holland, Munich, Rennes, Budapest, Paris and Valencia.  The eighth place in the draw was taken by the home team of Maastricht.

Brussels, Holland, Budapest and Maastricht were in section 1.

Munich, Rennes, Paris and Valencia, made up Section 2.

The teams played everyone else in their section with the top two from each section reaching the semi-finals.  In section 2 Munich and Paris went through while in section 1 it took a count back of scores to separate three teams which had won two games each. Budapest was the unlucky team to fail to qualify so Brussels and Holland made up the rest of the semi-final line up.

Holland and Paris played in the first semi-final in a hard fought and close game with Holland just edging Paris out by a point.  Brussels won their semi-final against Munich much more comfortably with 5 points to spare at the fulltime whistle.

The final was played under floodlights and Brussels started favourites to win yet again but it was not to be.  Holland were fastest out of the blocks and by halftime had  a lead of 9 points.  The second half saw Brussels fight their way back to reduce the lead to 4 points with little time left; a penalty was awarded to Brussels but they failed to score it so Holland ran out winners of this tournament.

Overall the year has been a real success story for both Brussels, who were only formed this season, and for the whole championship which is going from strength to strength with more participants and a higher standard of football year on year.

Kieth Tighe and Avril Brady travelled over to referee the ladies section of the tournament while Joe Lagan accepted the invitation by the organisers to attend and present the championship cup and medals. The tournament was a great success and the organisers in Maastricht deserve much congratulations on making this an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

The work of all organisers of the championship tournaments is overwhelming and the European clubs can be rightly proud of the wonderful work they are doing both in spreading the gaelic culture throughout the continent but more importantly offering exiles at universities and working throughout Europe an excellent opportunity  to meet fellow exiles and friends with similar interests to themselves and through the clubs build structures for friendship and social interaction.

Pictures of this tournament can be viewed in the photo gallery

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