And the championships continue!Two national championships were played on the weekend, as well as the IFAF Europe Champions League final.
The first IFAF Europe tournament ever, the IFAF Europe Champions League, was held last weekend. The 13 team tournament featured the best teams from several countries including Finland, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Serbia, Great Britain, Turkey and Spain. Kicking off back on April 12 it has offered surprises and great football at every turn.
Ultimately, with both round-robin play and playoffs, two finalists were decided and this past weekend the Helsinki Roosters edged the upstart Vukovi Belgrade from Serbia 36-29 in a thriller in Elancourt, France. Read the story: http://www.americanfootballinternational.com/helsinki-roosters-win-inaugural-ifaf-champions-league-tournament/.
In Norway, the Kristiansand Gladiators scored a last second touchdown to win the Norwegian championship over multiple-time champion the Eidsvoll 1814s to win its first ever championship 22-21. Read the story: http://www.americanfootballinternational.com/kristiansand-gladiators-upset-eidsvoll-1814s-win-norwegian-title/
In Switzerland, the Basel Gladiators broke a five-year stranglehold that arch rivals the Calanda Broncos have had and won the 2014 Swiss Bowl in convincing fashion 47-35 over the Broncos. Read the story here: http://www.americanfootballinternational.com/basel-gladiators-unseat-calanda-broncos-and-win-first-swiss-bowl/.
The Big6 championship game will be played July 19 between the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (Europe # 1) and the Berlin Adler (Europe # 6 ). Read the game preview here: http://www.americanfootballinternational.com/heis-heiser-eurobowl-xxviii-berlin-alder-v-braunschweig-new-yorker/.
The finals of the European Football League also take place this weekend, July 19 at 5 PM as the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (Europe #5) from Germany host the Badalona Dracs of Spain.
Here then is what happened around the continent last weekend.
Last weekend, not surprisingly, the Vienna Vikings (Europe #2) and the Swarco Raiders (Europe #7) advanced to the Austrian final- Austrian bowl XXX on July 26. Vienna dispatched the Prague Black Panthers (Europe #11 ) 41-27, while the Raiders blanked the Danube Dragons (Europe #16) 34-0. The two teams met twice during the regular season. In the opening game of the Austrian season, Vienna had no trouble rolling over Swarco, embarrassing them 41-14. Then a month later, the Raiders gained a measure of revenge, edging Vienna 22-20. These two teams have dominated football in Austria, and indeed in Europe, for many years. It will be a clash of titans.
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 #12) 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 ended, as expected, with the Prague Black Panthers taking the title beating the Pnbram Bobcats 40-0. With that, Prague finishes a great season with a record of 11-6. They played more games than any other team in Europe.
No games were played as the Danish league is taking a break. Actions returns on August 9. The Copenhagen Towers lead the entire league and have scored 268 points in six games while allowing 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.
The Finnish Maple League saw three games played as the Helsinki Roosters were busy winning the IFAF Champions League Cup. The Porvoo Butchers beat up on the Kouvola Indians 38-21 while the Sanaijoki Crocodiles squeaked by TAFT 23-20, after being up 3-0 at the half. Finally the Turkuu Trojans overwhelmed the Helsinki 69ers 58-19. The Crocodiles, Roosters and Trojans are all undefeated at 3-0 and the 69ers remain in fourth at 2-1.
The French champion Thonon Black Panthers (Europe #14) lost in the semi-finals of the inaugural IFAF Europe Champions League tournament to Vukovi Belgrade 19-7.
North: Six of the eight teams in the North were in action. In the feature game, the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (Europe #5) jumped to an early lead against the Berlin Adler and then cruised to a 28-20 victory. Then Braunschweig demolished the hapless Berlin Rebels 62-6. Finally, Cologne (Europe#10) stayed in sight of a playoff spot beating Dusseldorf 37-20. Braunschweig still leads the North at 5-0, followed by Kiel at 5-3, Dresden (Europe #4) (4-2) and the Berlin Adler at 3-2.
South: The Schwabisch Hall Unicorns (Europe #8) had a scare as the Allgau Comets forced them to play their best football to come away finally with a 42-36 win. The Marburg Mercenaries (Europe #18) are staying close to both the Unicorns and the Stuttgart Scorpions (Europe #3) in the standings. They showed no mercy against the Munich Cowboys beating them decisively 42-6. Inthe third game, Saarland beat the Rhein-Neckar Bandits 34-21 to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Scorpions are still undefeated at 8-0 and lead the South, with the Unicorns second at 7-2. The Marburg Mercenaries and Munich Cowboys round out the top four in the South.
In the Premiership North division, there was only one game played as the Coventry Jets blanked the Nottingham Ceasars 13-0. So the Tamworth Phoenix remain atop the North standings at 6-0 followed by the Pirates, also at 6-0. Coventry is third at 5-2 and the Birmingham Bulls occupy fourth at 3-3.
Premiership South: In the only game played in the Premiership South, the South Wales Warriors edged the Cambridgeshire Cats 21-20. The London Warriors lead the South with a 6-0 record with the Blitz in second at 5-0. Bristol is solidly in third at 4-1 while the South Wales Warriors advanced past the London Olympians with their win into fourth with a 3-3 record.
Two weeks ago, the Alphen Eagles won Tulip Bowl XXX in a nail biter, beating arch rival the Amsterdam Crusaders 14-12. This was the third Tulip Bowl victory in a row for the Eagles. Read the recap and see the game highlights here.
The wildcard playoffs are slated for this weekend. In one semi-final, the University of Limerick Vikings, who finished second in the South will host the West Dublin Rhinos (third in the South). The Vikings beat the Rhinos in their only meeting this year 22-7. In the North, the Dublin Rebels (second in the north) face the Carrickfergus Knights who finished third. Here again, the teams only played once during the regular season with the Rebels winning 17-6. The winners of these will move on to the Irish semi-finals July 27 where the two top teams, the Belfast Trojans, winners of the North and Trinity University Dublin first in the South await. The Belfast Trojans will play the winner of the Rhinos/Vikings game while Trinity University face the winner of the game between the Rebels and Knights. The Irish championship game, the Shamrock Bowl takes place August 7.
The Milano Seamen (Europe #15) won their first-ever Italian championship – Super Bowl XXXIV two weeks ago beating four-time champion the Parma Panthers handlily 33-3.
The Norwegian championship also produced an upset of sorts as the Kristiansand Gladiators beat heavy favorite the Eidsvoll 1814s 22-21 on the last second hailmary pass. Read the story here.
The Polish semi-finals take place this weekend as the Warsaw Eagles will host the Gdynia Seahawks in one semi while the Wroclaw Panthers take on fourth place Kozly. The Ealges-Seahawks match-up has some history as this will be the 15th time they have played each other in the semi-fianls. Warsaw holds an edge have won nine of the 14 previous playoff meetings. The winner of the semifinal will advance to Superfinal IX on August 2.
Vukovi Beograd (Europe #12) made no mistake in the Serbian championship game beating rivals the Kragujevac Wild Boars 27-17, to cap a highly successful season. The Serbian squad also reached the finals the the IFAF Europe Champions League tournament losing in a close one to Helsinki 36-27.
The season has ended with the Badalona Dracs as new champions.
The Tyreso Royal Crowns regained first place in the Swedish standings with a decisive 37-26 win over the Uppsala 86ers. The Kristianstad Predators had no problems in defeating the STU Northside Bulls 36-18 and extend the gap between fifth (Predators) and sixth (Bulls). There is a log jam at the top of the standings still with Tyreso in first at 5-1, followed by Uppsala at 4-1 and Carlstad (Europe #13), undefeated at 4-0. The Orebro Black Knights occupy fourth with a 3-1 record.
The Basel Gladiators (Europe #15) scored a spectacular success in upending five-time Swiss champion the Calanda Broncos 47-35. This was the seventh attempt by the Gladiators to win the trophy and first victory.
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