American Football International

Around the Continent: The Upsets Have Started!

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Week Two of Around the Continent saw two more leagues get underway as both Serbia and Switzerland kicked off their 2015 seasons while Turkey resumed theirs. We intend to keep you abreast of all the news from around the European continent so make sure to check it out every week.

So far Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, AustriaPoland, Serbia and Switzerland have kicked off their seasons. The Turkish league resumed as well this past weekend after a three month hiatus. We want to hear from Estonia, Lativa, Croatia, Slovenia and any other country playing American football. Look for a story about the Eastern League of American Football this week with teams from Belorussia (Belarus), Estonia, Latvia and Russia

There was a major upset in Spain as the Valencia Giants surprised the previously undefeated Valencia Firebats 26-20. The Firebats had beaten the Giants earlier this season without a problem. The Swiss league saw its own upset in the opening weekend although slightly less momentous as Luzern Lions beat the Zurich Renegades 32-30 in their first season back in Switzerland top American football division.

We do everything we can to stay on top of developments in each country but cannot always keep up with it so this is where we need your help. Last week, we had a number of misses but our readers helped us straighten things out. Please keep us informed of events when they happen in your country. Don’t hesitate to let us know if we have missed something or made a mistake. If you have a tournament write to us at info@americanfootballinternational.com.

Austria

Holly Kellner/ Gridiron Photography

No games were played this past weekend in Austria but on tap this Saturday is the home opener for the Danube Dragons as they will host the Swarco Raiders. The Raiders lost the opening game of the Austrian season 26-21 to the Vienna Vikings.

Belgium

The Belgian season is in full swing. The Flemish league was idle but the Ghent Gators are still firmly entrenched in first with a 4-0 record. In fact, in those four games the Gators have scored 144 points while giving up a mere six points.

In the French conference, the Brussels Tigers, finalists in the Belgian Bowl in 2014, are 3-0-1 in Group 1 although this past weekend the Liege Monarchs threw a scare into them with a 0-0 tie. This was the second time the Monarchs have come close to knocking off Brussels, losing to them 14-12 two weeks ago. In the only other game, the Waterloo Warriors beat the Louvain Fighting Turtles 22-6.

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CEFL

The Central European Football League kicks off its schedule on April 11. The four-team league involves teams from Serbia, Slovenia and Austria.

Croatia

The Croatian league kicks off in the fall.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic season gets underway on April 11. Defending champions, the Prague Black Panthers will travel to Pribram to face the Bobcats on April 11.

Denmark

The 2015 Schedule is pending.

Finland

The Maple League starts in early June. The schedule is pending.

France

The French leagueFFFA  –  was idle this past weekend. So far though, after five games the biggest surprise has been the Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône Cougars who knocked off the defending champion Thonon black Panthers 45-37 two weeks ago to gain top spot in the Elite league. With a 4-0-1 record, and wins over heavy favorites the Black Panthers and the Flash, the Cougars have a leg up on the rest of last year’s playoff teams.

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Germany

The GFL season start on April 18 will see defending champs the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions host the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, quarterfinalists in 2014. The bad news heading into the season is the folding of the Cologne Falcons after losing their main sponsor.

Great Britain

The premiership of the British American Football League  gets underway on April 5 as defending champions the London Warriors travel to Bristol to take on the Aztecs.

Holland

The defending champion Alphen Eagles finally lost a regular season game, falling to 2014 Tulip Bowl finalists the Amsterdam Crusaders 6-0. Thus the Crusaders jump up to a 5-0 start on the season. Meanwhile, the Arnhem Falcons now claim top spot in Group A beating the Hilversum Hurricanes 27-15 giving them a 5-0 record as well. In the third game of the weekend, the Leiden Lightning edged the Nijmegen Pirates  16-14.

Hungary

The Hungarian season gets underway this weekend as the Budapest Wolves take on the Nyiregyhaza Tigers.

Ireland

The University of Limerick Vikings have extended their lead in the South conference handily beating the West Dublin Rhinos 41-6. Trinity College Dublin had trouble but still edged the South Dublin Panthers 7-2. University College Dublin squeaked by the Dublin Rebels 31-12, while the North leading Belfast Trojans trounced the North Kildare Reapers 36-0.

With that, the Vikings sit atop the South standings at 3-0 while Belfast leads the North with a 2-0 record.

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Italy

North

After the third weekend of action a new favorite has emerged in the North as the Bolzano Giants continue their unbeaten ways clipping the Torino Giaguari 35-0. Parma remain close behind after defeating Bergamo 10-7 while third place Milano Seamen upended crosstown rivals the Milan Rhinos 34-0 .

South

The Lazio Marines outgunned the Ancona Dolphins in Rome last weekend whipping the Dolphins 58-34. With that, the Marines have opened the season 4-0 and look set to challenge for the Italian title. In other action, the Bologna Warriors beat the Rome Grizzlies 17-14 while the Ferrara Aquile  scored their first win of the season beating Napoli 33-16.

Norway

The Norwegian season gets underway on April 11.

Poland

In the second weekend of the Polish the biggest surprise was how easily the Gdynia Seahawks manhandled the Warsaw Eagles, whipping them 47-31 after taking a 27-13 lead at halftime. In other action, the Wroclaw Panthers delivered the same fate to Kozly with a 56-7 drubbing. Finally the Lowlanders got their first win of the season beating Husaria 36-29.

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Portugal

South

There was only one game played in the South conference. The Lisbon Crusaders had a tough time but still defeated the Lisboa Devils 14-6. The Lisboa Navigators remain undefeated in first place at 7-0, followed by the Crusaders who improved to 5-2 with the win.

North

The Porto Mutts continued their dominance in the North beating up on the Porto Renegades 39-0. They improved to 7-0 and with only one game to go will finish first in the conference. The Maximinos Warriors sit in second still with a 4-2 record, their two defeats suffered at the hands of the Mutts.

Romania

Two games have been played in the two conference league. This past weekend,the Cluj Crusaders handed the Resita Locomotives their second loss beating them 52-0 in the North/West conference. In the South/East conference, the Bucharest Warriors had no trouble with the Mures Monsters defeating them 40-19.

Russia

The Russian league does not start until May.

Serbia

In the opening weekend of action in the Serbian league, the favorites did not disappoint. Vukovi Belgrade had no trouble with the Sirmium Legionaries trouncing them 35-6 after scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter. The Kragujevac Wild Boars were equally dominant in their 45-14 win over the Cacak Angel Warriors.  The Novi Sad Dukes took care of the Indija Indians 21-7 while the Pancevo Panthers beat the Nis Imperatori  37-16.

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Spain

In Spain, the Valencia Firebats finally flinched as crosstown rival the Valencia Giants handed them their first defeat with a 26-20 win over the Firebats. Then the Badalona Dracs gave the L’Hospitalet Pioners  a 48-0 drubbing while Madrid’s Osos Rivas beat the Mallorca Voltors 30-6.

With four games remaining in the Spanish league the Firebats still remain in first with a 5-1 record, but the Giants are now solidly in second with their surprising win. Badalona and Osos Rivas are tied with the Giants also at 4-2 but the Giants have the second spot by virtue of the record between the three.

Sweden

The Swedish season gets underway on May 2 this year.

Switzerland

The Swiss season opened with an upset as the upstart Luzern Lions in their first year back in the top division handed the Zurich Renegades a 32-30 defeat. The defending champion Basel Gladiators had no trouble turning back the Bern Grizzlies 38-14 while the Calanda Broncos beat the Winterthur Warriors 36-10.

Turkey

The Turkish season resumed this past weekend. The eight team league had played the first four to five games in November and December and then took a three month break. Of the three scores reported so far, the ITÜ Hornets beat the Ege BSK Dolphins 25-0 while the  Bogazici Sultans  shut out the Hacettepe Red Deers 47-0. Finally, the Anadolu USK Rangers defeated the ODTÜ Falcons by an 8-0 score. The league-leading and undefeated Koc Rams were playing the Gazi Warriors but the score is not in yet. The Rams have the stingiest defense in the league allowing a mere three points a game so far.

Ukraine

The Ukrainian season starts April 18 when the Lviv Lions tangle with the Kiev Bandits.