Pan European Football Tournament Round 1 – Munich
Saturday 30th July, Eindhoven Shamrocks GAA and The Earls of Leuven GAA combined to create a 15 man squad to compete in Munich. Only a week after the mass shooting in a city center McDonalds brought the eyes of the world on the Bavarian capital, the European GAA community came together in the spirit of solidarity with the host club Munich Colmcilles with 16 teams from across Europe taking the field for a great day of football. Eindhoven/Leuven or “Earls of Eindhoven”, which was cleverly named by the team started the day in group C facing another amalgamated team Frankfurt/Dusseldorf/Basel/Zurich as well as old friends and rivals Luxembourg and Amsterdam.
Our first game, Eindhoven/Leuven vs. Frankfurt/Dusseldorf/Basel/Zurich, was a nail biter with end to end scores throughout. At the final whistle only 2 points separated the sides with a final score of 2-5 to 2-3. Fortunately, the heat of the day had not yet reached its peak and the boys looked fresh on the field. As the day went on the temperature drifted closer to 30 degrees rather than 20 and all the teams seemed equally affected by it.
The following two matches saw Luxembourg and Amsterdam beat Eindhoven/Leuven by close margins. There is a level of expectation from within Benelux that these clubs perform well. Both derive from larger cities and have excellent teams. As time has passed and our football club has developed we have proven to be a strong competitor against these sides and are coming closer to taking a big scalp, however we still have some work to do for now.
Finishing third in group C we moved into the next round and faced with the difficult task of playing Vienna Gaels. Having played 3 games, a short lunch and resting under a scorching sun it was clear that this game would “separate the men from the boys”. Our boys were able to deliver. Vienna Gaels, an excellent side, provided great opposition and after a very entertaining 30 minutes the sides were all square on the scoreboard. It took 2 additional 5 minute halves of extra time for Eindhoven/Leuven to secure a 1 point victory.
This lead to the final match of the day, the 7th/8th place play off. Eindhoven/Leuven facing the hosts Munich. The game was played with excellent standards. Both teams exerting the remaining energy they had left to finish the tournament. Unfortunately for us we were unable to finish with a win. Munich Columcilles were excellent. There was great support on the sidelines for the local boys who had a video crew to prove it, snatched the 7th placed honours, leaving us with a respectable 8th place finish for the tournament.
With 2 wins from 5 matches giving us the best result this season. It is a reflection of the hard work everyone has put in over the year. The players coaches and supporters have been exemplary and these results prove that. The next action for Eindhoven is the second round of the Pan-Europeans, to be held on Saturday 24th September in Maar
The evenings award ceremony and dinner was held in one of Munichs famous beer festival tents and the local beers and banter with the other clubs made for a great evening. The awards were presented to Luxembourg who took a 1 point victory in the mens final against a very good Augsburg side and the Belgium Ladies took the ladies honors on the day.
Congratulations to everyone who participated and thanks to Munich Columcilles who put on an excellent event.
Bring on round two!!