European footy IS BACK! The long awaited and eagerly anticipated Euro Cup tournament took place on Saturday, June 18th in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the first Euro Cup since it was last held 2019.
The Irish Warriors and the Irish Banshees were well prepared for the tournament after a series of open trials were held for both teams in the first half of 2022 which saw management with a plethora of talent to choose from when it came to picking their teams.
The Irish Warriors squad faced a tough pool to top, however, they managed to hit the ground running with solid wins over Wales (25 to 7), Switzerland (48 to 1), France (42 to 2) and tournament debutantes Poland (62 to 6). Well done Lads! Poised for the semi final and in great spirits the boys faced a very strong German Eagles outfit who dashed the Warriors dreams of returning to a Euro Cup Final.
With the 3rd place spot now up for grabs there was a clear mission in front of them, no way were the lads ready to go down without placing! Of course the third place play off was against our old friends Croatia, who have had very strong outings at the Euro Cup previously, we knew it was going to go down to the wire… with the game fairly even at half time the Warriors tenacity and grit shone through, Warriors defeating Croatia by 6 points.
This was the first competition for a lot of players and management so we are grateful for the experience and will take all learnings into our next outing. No doubt the Warriors fire is now WELL FUELED, this is just the beginning for this team, so we say ‘roll on’ European Championships and see you in October. Congratulations to Connor Dunne (South Dublin Swans) on making the ‘Team of the Tournament’.
The Banshees eagerly awaited return to the European stage was also cemented mid way through the day as they welcomed in the first 3 wins to exit pool stage into Semi Finals. The Banshees proving dominant conceding only 7 points with wins against the European Crusaders (71 – 0), German Eagles (37 – 7) and Swiss Heidi’s (69 – 0).
The Semi – Final was next, with Wales in front of us. The Banshees were primed and with all eyes firmly on that finals spot there was no stopping the them, final score 103 to 0. Credit the Welsh Wyverns going out of the tournament in fourth place, a fine effort and best ever placing for them.
It now came down to this, a Euro Cup Final awaited. Could this team pull off a Euro Cup Three-PEAT!? After gaining an injection of team spirit and confidence in the Semi Final the Banshees went into the final full of purpose. It was another Ireland v England showdown, we’ve gotten used to these pre-pandemic and many fans were wondering if this tussle between the two teams would continue. No worries there, England bringing their A game in the first half, stalling the Banshees from a scoring blitz and holding firm at half time preventing the Irish from running away with it. The Banshees spoke in the huddle at half time about getting quick goals on board at the start of the next half, and they did just that nailing 2 goals in the space of 2 minutes. Annie Walsh providing quick hands to Eva Cafolla who snapped a beautiful goal and a minute later, Ciara Sexton bursting from midfield launching a huge kick to full forward Shauna Kendrick who marked and scored from directly in front. It was enough to give the Banshees the momentum and it was all green jerseys from there.
The Banshees finishing 4.10.34 and conceding only 2 behinds (points) to the Vixens and 9 behinds in total all day! The siren blew and the celebrations began, many Banshees savoring the taste of a Euro Cup win for the first time. Special mention and congratulations to Maria Quirke (Cork Vikings) who was named on the Euro Cup ‘Team of the Tournament’.
Congratulations to the Irish Banshees! The year of the belated Three-peat… Well done! Many Thanks to our Banshees coach Shane Beggan and assistant coach Leiha Shrubsall. Many Thanks to the Warriors Coach Eoin O’Sullivan and all the backroom staff. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in getting the W, patient partners included! Many thanks to our lovely Sponsors SNC Investments Partners, O’Neill’s and Chemist Warehouse.
European Championships will be held in Croatia in October where the Banshees will defend the title. #bansheesabú