IGLFA European Championship 2011

IGLFA European Championship,
Manchester 9-12 June 2011

What started out as a weekend trip to Manchester for fourteen members of the club, turned into one of the most remarkable weekends in the history of the Dublin Devils FC.

Thursday 9th June 2011

Taurus Bar on Canal St. is the venue for the Official Draw for the IGLFA European Championships. The Devils are talking part in the 6 a-side competition and after the balls have been drawn, we are paired with Trowbridge Tigers and Paris in the group section of the tournament, with the other half of the draw consisting of the Merseyside Marauders, Frankfurt and the Friends of Prague. Our first game kicks off on Friday at 1pm, so we have an opportunity to enjoy some of Manchester’s finest hospitality, yet still get to bed at a reasonable hour.


Friday 10th June 2011

It’s a bright sunny morning in Manchester, which usually means that rain is less than 10 minutes away, and we weren’t let down there. The Armitage Centre is the fantastic venue for the weekend’s competition.

Pre-match preparations are going well and we have a full squad fit and fresh to choose from. Our squad is – Bill O’Rourke (GK), Brendan Gildea, Carlo Webster, Chris Grehan (C), Gordon Ormsby, John McNamara, Paul Gogarty, Paul Rutledge and Shane Dunne.

With the morning amalgamation of the Paris and Frankfurt teams, we are down to 5 clubs in a single group phase, with the top two in the table facing off for the Championship. So now the Devils are guaranteed 2 games minimum each day, with the bonus of a final if we reach that point.

Our wonderful new kit, sponsored by Spice made its competitive debut at the event and was complimented by opponents and onlookers alike.

Warm-ups, shooting practice and team formation completed, it was time for kick-off in our first IGLFA European Championship game.

 

Match 1 – Dublin Devils FC v Trowbridge Tigers – 1pm

It was a tense affair for both teams, with plenty of chances at either end. The first half ended scoreless, but not without some decent shots on target and saves at either end of the pitch.

Mid-way through the second half, Chris Grehan was brought down by the Tigers keeper, who the referee had no option but to send off.

The Devils capitalised on the advantage and we saw a fantastic strike fromChris Grehan and a second goal from Brendan Gildea to put the Devils in control of the game.

At full time it finished Dublin Devils FC 2 - 0 Trowbridge Tigers and a great start to the tournament.

 

Match 2 – Dublin Devils FC v Paris/Frankfurt – 4pm

A second game of the day for both teams, and with confidence high from the earlier win, the Devils outlasted the Paris/Frankfurt attack and hit back with a great strike from Paul Gogarty which was the difference between the two teams.

Final Score - Dublin Devils FC 1-0 Paris/Frankfurt

 

After the games it was back to the team hotel to relax and then out for dinner and some drinks, but not too many, and an early night was had by most, with a big day ahead on Saturday!!


Saturday 11th June 2011

An early start in more ways than one, as the hotel fire alarms sounded at 6.30am, sending the majority of us out into the street for half an hour while the fire officers checked things out. Luckily Eoghan Martin was on hand with McD’s and we finally got back to bed for another hour or two, before heading back to the Armitage Centre for a second day of competition.

 

Match 3 – Dublin Devils FC v Merseyside Marauders – 10am

Following the double win on Friday, confidence remained high and belief strong that we had what it took to go all the way. In between our games we couldn’t help notice our remaining opponents to play, the Friends of Prague were steamrolling the opposition, recording wins of 4-0, 4-0 and 5-0 over our mutual opponents.

Playing to our strengths, we again defended resolutely and shut out the opposition from scoring, and at the other end of the pitch knocked in two first half goals, the first from Chris Grehan and a second from Shane Dunne.

Final Score - Dublin Devils FC 2-0 Merseyside Marauders

 

Following the completion of the 3rd game for each team, the table was tied with Friends of Prague and Dublin Devils FC uncatchable as joint table toppers , with Prague ahead on goals scored.

The remaining league game between Prague and the Devils was agreed as the Tournament Final, with a 1.45pm kick-off for the Championship.

 

 

Match 4 –Dublin Devils FC v Friends of Prague – 1.45pm – FINAL

A very tense affair as Tournament Captain Chris Grehan led out the boys in green in a winner takes all battle for the cup. The Devils team were bruised and battered, playing in their fourth game in barely over 24 hours, but displaying no lack of courage, heart or determination to succeed for the club, for the team and for Ireland!!

Team tactics were clear, Prague had scored 13 goals in three games, conceding none – they had to be stopped from scoring for the Devils to have a chance of taking home the cup.

A large crowd had gathered for the Tournament Final, with the Devils winning popular support on the side-line.

The game was played to perfection by the Devils. Prague, used to walking the ball into their opponents net were thwarted at every attempt by a resolute Devils defence and midfield, clear in their role. There were some shots on target from Prague which were turned away brilliantly by Devils keeper Bill O’Rourke who stood solid against every shot coming his way. The Devils did have their own opportunities to score also, being denied by an excellent Prague defence and goalie.

After two periods of stalemate, Referee Paul Miller blew the final whistle, with the final score showing -
Dublin Devils FC 0-0 Friends of Prague
.

 

And so, the Penalty Shootout beckoned, but win or lose, it had been an amazing tournament for the Devils and everyone from players, managers and supporters were rightly proud of their performance. The messages of support from Ireland were flooding in and Facebook followers were eagerly anticipating the latest updates and scores…….

Penalty Shootout

Crunch time, as Prague stepped up to take the first penalty and miss

--> Prague 0-0 Devils

Paul Gogarty walked up to take the first Devils spot kick, but sent it wide of the post

--> Prague 0-0 Devils

Prague take their second and miss

--> Prague 0-0 Devils

Brendan Gildea walks to the spot, shoots and the ball is saved by the Prague goalkeeper, but the referee asks for the kick to be retaken as the goalkeeper came off his line early. Settling himself, Gildea shoots again and buries the ball in the back of the net

--> Prague 0-1 Devils

Prague’s 3rd penalty is scored

--> Prague 1-1 Devils

Paul Rutledge goes to the spot to win the tournament, shoots and misses

--> Prague 1-1 Devils

At 3 penalties apiece taken, we are now in sudden death

Prague step up, needing to score. In the Devils goal, Bill O’Rourke holds his nerve and makes a stunning save

--> Prague 1-1 Devils

Devils Captain Chris Grehan takes a deep breath and walks slowly towards the goal. Chance number 2 for the Devils to take home the trophy! His mission simple, yet immense – score from his shot to win the Championship. As he strikes the ball, from the side-line it seems to move in slow motion as his teammates agonise in the centre circle. The ball crashed into the back of the net as he sinks to his knees and the crowd goes wild.

--> Prague 1-2 Devils

Dublin Devils FC are the IGLFA European 6 a-side Champions!


A wonderful win, an amazing weekend, and the Dublin Devils would like to thank all of the teams that took part, the officials and organisers for their roles in creating a very successful, high-quality and unforgettable tournament.


Full Photo Gallery


Tournament Results

ROUND 1
Dublin Devils FC 2 - 0 Trowbridge Tigers FC
Paris/Frankfurt 1 - 1 Merseyside Marauders

ROUND 2
Merseyside Marauders 0 - 4 Friends of Prague
Trowbridge Tigers FC 3 - 4 Paris/Frankfurt

ROUND 3
Dublin Devils FC 1 - 0 Paris/Frankfurt
Trowbridge Tigers FC 0 - 4 Friends of Prague

ROUND 4
Dublin Devils FC 2 - 0 Merseyside Marauders
Paris/Frankfurt 0 - 5 Friends of Prague

ROUND 5
Trowbridge Tigers FC 2 - 0 Merseyside Marauders

FINAL
Dublin Devils FC 0 - 0 Friends of Prague
Dublin Devils win 2-1 on penalties


League Table

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

PTS

1 Friends of Prague 3 3 0 0 13 0 13 9
2 Dublin Devils Fc 3 3 0 0 5 0 5 9
3 Paris/Frankfurt 4 1 1 2 5 10 -5 4
4 Trowbridge Tigers FC 4 1 0 3 5 10 -5 3
5 Merseyside Maurauders 4 0 1 3 1 9 -8 1

 

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