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West London win inaugural Dublin International Tournament

  • Tuesday, October 26 2004 @ 07:27 pm ACST
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Europe The powerful West London Wildcats club has won the first Dublin International Tournament, which saw England's most dominant club take on the Ireland National side, and the new boys in British Australian Rules footy, the Scottish Puffins.

As reported earlier, the tournament was a great chance for the Scottish lads to consolidate the first Scottish Australian Rules Football League season. Players were drawn from the three SARFL sides: the Edinburgh Old Town Bloods, the Edinburgh Uni Bodysnatchers and the Glasgow Sharks. The series was timed to allow attendance at the 2nd International Rules Test between Ireland and Australia at Croke Park. They took on the West London Wildcats who are the powerhouse of British Aussie Rules, and feature some very good Australian players. Rounding out the three-way tournament were the Irish National side (picked from locals only, not expatriate Australians), who are now preparing their squad to defend their International Cup title (to be held again in Melbourne in August 2005). (Note that the Dublin Demons did not field a side, as previously reported.)

In a series of shortened matches, each side played the other once. Not surprisingly, West London were far too strong for Scotland, whose league is only in its early stages. Next up was West London versus Ireland. At the 2002 International Cup in Australia, the Irish side was nicknamed the Green Machine (reflecting their distinctive Guernseys and no doubt their dominant play). But the lads from the Emerald Isle were in for a tough match, and the side, which featured many new faces, went down 6.5 (41) to 3.7 (25), in what may well be their first ever defeat. The final match saw Ireland rebound to knock off Scotland 10.8 (68) to 3.1 (19). Green Machine coach Kris Vekic was pleased with the overall performance, but made it clear to his squad that the next 10 months will require a major increase in commitment.

The ARFLI's generous sponsor, the Outback Bar, was the venue for the award presentations, with the Wildcats winning the tournament, Leeside's Denis Kennelly the best Irish player, and player of the series going to West London's Mick Condron.

A more detailed review of the series can be found on the ARFLI website here.