Championship season in Europe!
We apologize for the delay. We had some technical problems this week.TTwo championships were played on the weekend, the Tulip Bowl in Holland and the Italian championship, they call the Super Bowl. Read the recaps of both games in American Football International Review (www.americanfootballinternational.com).
There are a number of inter-country club tournaments coming to a close. We’d like to explain briefly the structure of these tournaments. The EFAF Big6 tournament is actually arranged by the teams themselves and involved six of the top teams in Europe. The IFAF Europe Champions League tournament is arranged by IFAF Europe, and is not affiliated with the Big6 or EFAF who oversaw the EFL (Eurobowl) tournament. We hope this made some sense. There were also a number of other EFAF tournaments held including the Atlantic Cup, and the Challenge Cup. This entire system will change for next year. Read more about it next week in an interview with the president of the International Federation of American football, Tommy Wiking.
The Big6 championship game will be played July 19th between the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (Europe # 1) and the Berlin Adler (Europe # 2).
In the IFAF Europe Champions League, the semi-finals produced two, exciting upsets. First, SBB Vukovi Belgrade engineered the biggest surprise upending French champion and Europe #6 the Thonon Black Panthers 19-7. This will put football in Serbia on the map more than their EFAF Cup final appearance three years ago. In the other semi-final, perhaps not as dramatic, Finland’s Helsinki Roosters survived a scare in beating the d’Elancourt Templiers 44-37. The Templiers second half surge was exciting to watch as they came from being down 44-21, scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. This has set up Sunday’s championship final between Helsinki and Vukovi. An unlikely and yet fully worthy pair.
This weekend, the Austrian semi-finals take place. On Saturday July 12, the Swarco Raiders (Europe #9) will play the Danube Dragons (Europe #5) in one of the Austrian semi-finals. On Sunday July 13, the Vienna Vikings (Europe #3) will play the Prague Black Panthers (Europe #4). During the regular season, Swarco played Danube twice beating them both times handily, 44-20 and 43-14. Vienna defeated Prague both times they met as well, but with slightly different scores. In the first game they prevailed 27-7, but in the second Prague pushed them, still losing 34-31.
Belgian Bowl XXVII saw a new champion crowned three weeks ago as the Ghent Gators made no mistake handing the defending champion the Brussels Tigers a 38-0 pummeling. This was the first ever title win for the Gators and they did it on their first try. Read the game recap here: www.americanfootballinternational.com.
CEFL (Central European Football League)
On July 20, the two top teams in the CEFL, the Ljubjana Silverhawks and the Vukovi Belgrade (Europe #19) face each other for the CEFL championship on July 20.. The two teams met twice this year and split the series. But in the first game the Silverhawks won 15-6, while in the second meeting, Vukovi whipped them 48-20.
The Czech championship final is set for July 15. The Prague Black Panthers, undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs will face the second-place Bobcats. The final game of the season between the Prague Black Panthers and the Bobcats saw Prague win 34-27.
In the only game played in Denmark the Herlev Rebels (#3 in Group 2) beat up on the Aab 89ers (#4 in Group 2) 58-7. The Copenhagen Towers who were idle still lead Group 1. Towers have scored 268 points in six games and allowed only 26 against. Phenomenal numbers. They are first in Group 1 and have defeated the Triangle Razorbacks and the Gold Diggers (two and three in Denmark) by a combined total of 58-6.
There were three games in the Finnish Maple League. The second place Senaijoki Crocodiles overwhelmed the Kuovola Indians 42-10. Then TAFT came out in the second half of their game against the Butchers after being tied at 15-15, to pull away and cruise to a 32-22 win. Finally, on Monday night football in Finland, the Helsinki 69ers made it two wins in a row smacking the once-proud Helsinki Wolverines 55-0. The Roosters lead the Finnish league at 3-0 with the Crocodiles following in second at 2-0, the 69ers in third, also at 2-0 and the Turku Trojans in fourth, they also at 2-0.
The Thonon Black Panthers (Europe #6) won their second straight French championship in dramatic fashion two weeks ago surviving a scare from Molosses to squeak by them 35-34. You can still read the recap here: www.americanfootballinternational.com/last-second-pat-decides-french-championship-thonon-les-bains-defends-title
North: There were three games played in the Northern division in Germany. The Dresden Monarchs (Europe #7) played host to the Cologne Falcons (Europe # 14) and came from behind to defeat Cologne 35-21. They had been down 21-14 early in the third. The Berlin Adler (Europe #2) had an easy time of it rolling over the Berlin Rebels 41-0 after accumulating 408 yards on offense. The Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (Europe # 10) facing Dusseldorf for the third time this season in both German league play and Eurobowl action, dropped them 67-26. Braunschweig, who was idle, still leads the North at 4-0, followed by the Berlin Adler (4-1), the Dresden Monarchs (4-2) and Kiel (4-3) with Cologne in fifth but not far off.
South: The Schwabisch Hall Unicorns continued their powerful offensive display this time whipping the Saarland Hurricanes 52-18. German national team quarterback Marco Ehrenfried was efficient as usual throwing for 253 yards and five touchdowns. The undefeated Stuttgart Scorpions (Europe #8) had a scare as they had to come from behind and score a touchdown with almost no time left on the clock to edge the Marburg Mercenaries 41-40. Quarterback Luke Barthelmess had an amazing game for Stuttgart throwing for 330 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 125 yards and scoring another touchdown. After eight games played Barthelmess is fourth in Germany in rushing with 1,077 yards and 16 touchdowns, and sixth in passing throwing for 1,971 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Scorpions are undefeated at 8-0 and lead the South, with the Unicorns second at -2. The Marburg Mercenaries and Munich Cowboys round out the top four in the South.
There were no games played in the Premiership league this week. The Tamworth Phoenix remain atop the North standings at 6-0 followed by the East Kilbride Pirates at 5-0. Coventry still occupies third at 4-2 and Yorkshire fourth at 3-2. Premiership South: The London Warriors lead the South with a 6-0 record with the Blitz at second at 5-0. Bristol is third (4-1) and South Wales fourth at 3-3.
The defending champion Alphen Eagles have now made it three in a row beating the Amsterdam Crusaders 14-12 in the Dutch championship, Tulip Bowl XXX.
In the final weekend of regular season play the Belfast Trojans (IAFL North) beat up the Knights (IAFL North) 50-0. The Dublin Rebels (IAFL North) delivered the same punishment to the North Kildare Reapers (IAFL South) downing them 53-0 . The Craigavon Cowboys (IAFL North) edged the Dublin Rhinos 24-21 (IAFL North). Finally the West Dublin Rhinos barely got by the lowly and winless Waterford Wolves 7-0. With that, the Belfast Trojans finish first in the North at 7-1 and have earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Trinity University Dublin were undefeated and also have a bye. The wildcard playoffs start July 20. But the second half of the game between the Rhinos and Knights, which was postponed due to a medical emergency, will be played this weekend. The outcome of that game will determine the final playoff positions. The wildcard playoffs will be held July 20. The Irish championship game, the Shamrock Bowl takes place August 7.
The Milano Seamen enjoyed the biggest upset in many a year in Italy in the Italian championship game defeating the seemingly unstoppable Parma Panthers in a walk 33-3. Read the game recap here on AFI.
The Norwegian semi-finals finished pretty much as expected with the Eidsvoll 1814s whipping the Oslo Vikings 62-25. Meanwhile Kristiansand Gladiators made it to their third straight Norwegian final. Kristiansand beat the Lura Bulls 14-6. In the only game between the 1814s and Gladiators this season, Eidsvoll prevailed 23-0. The Norwegian championship game is this Saturday July 12 in Oslo.
The final two games of the Polish regular season had no bearing on the playoff picture, except for home field. The Wroclaw Panthers took it easy on the winless Sharks and still came away with a 38-0 victory. In the other game, the Warsaw Eagles upset the Gdynia Seahawks 30-21 dropping them into third. So Wroclaw finished first at 8-2, followed by Warsaw also 8-2. The Seahawks were third and Kozly fourth. So The semifinals are scheduled for July 19 and 20 as Wroclaw faces Kozly and the Eagles are at home against the Seahawks. Wroclaw finished the season with an amazing 400 points scored while allowing only 79 against.
Vukovi Beograd (Europe #19) had their hands full but still came away with the Serbian championship crown beating the Kragujevac Wild Boars 27-17.
The season has ended with the Badalona Dracs as new champions.
In the highlight game of the weekend, the Carlstad Crusaders (Europe #15) took care of the first place Tyreso Royal Crowns 28-18 while the Uppsala 86ers beat the winless Limhamn Griffins 35-18. The Orebro Black Knights then defeated the Kristianstad Predators 17-0. Thus, Uppsala jumped up to first at 4-0 with Carlstad second also at 4-0. Uppsala has a better point differential. Tyreso dropped to third with the Black Knights in fourth.
In the Swiss semi-finals there were no surprises. The first place Basel Gladiators (Europe # 18) had no trouble with Zurich beating them 44-20. The defending champion Calanda Broncos then manhandled the Bern Grizzlies 65-37. This Saturday July 12, Basel plays Calanda for the Swiss championship, the 2014 Swiss Bowl (#28). This will be the fifth straight meeting between these two teams in the final. Calanda has won the past five championship games, beating Basel in four of them. Last year’s score was 46-41 Calanda.