American Football International

Around the Continent: Week 4 Full of Upsets And Close Calls

[tps_title]Around the Continent – Week 4 and the Upsets Continue – 2015[/tps_title]

The fourth week of Around the Continent saw the Czech Republic league kick off along with Norway and Denmark.  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, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, AustriaPoland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Denmark have kicked off their seasons. The Turkish league resumed three weekends ago after a three month hiatus.

We also want to hear from Estonia, Lativa, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and any other country playing American football. Germany kicks off this weekend along with the Central European Football League and the Eastern League of American Football with teams from Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Russia.

There were some notable upsets. In Holland, perennial contender the Amsterdam Crusaders were beaten by the Hilversum Hurricanes for the first time in 11 years. In Switzerland, the Zurich Renegades knocked off the reigning champion Basel Gladiators. To find out more, read on.

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 few more misses but again our readers helped us straighten things out. Please keep us informed of events when they happen in your country.

We have tried to do previews for each country but without input from the leagues, this becomes an almost impossible task at times. Please help us here by letting us know who to contact in your country. Don’t hesitate to let us know if we have missed something or made a mistake. If we don’t respond quickly, keep trying. We are a tiny staff and we will eventually get your information posted. Also, if you have a tournament or new league write to us at info@americanfootballinternational.com.

Finally, if you can share on Facebook or retweet on Twitter we will spread the news even further.

Austria

The Vienna Vikings captured their second straight win in the Austrian league downing the Prague Black Panthers 31-30, earning the victory by blocking a Prague PAT. The Swarco Raiders finally won a league game by beating the Graz Giants 51-14. So the Vikings top the league standings at 2-0 followed by Danube at 1-0.

 Belgium

Flemish conference (FAFL)

The Flemish conference was idle this past weekend. Play resumes on April 19. The Ghent Gators are undefeated at 5-0 and lead the conference followed by the Brussels Black Angels at 3-0.

French Conference (LFFAB)

The four team French conference was idle again. The Brussels Tigers, finalists in the Belgian Bowl in 2014, are 3-0-1 with the Liege Monarchs in second at 2-1.

[tps_title]Around the Continent[/tps_title]

CEFL

The Central European Football League gets underway this coming weekend. The league involves teams from Serbia (Vukovi Belgrade, Novi Sad Dukes), Slovenia (Ljubjana Silverhawks) and Austria (Cineplexx Blue Devils).

Vukovi will host the Silverhawks this weekend in a rematch of last season’s championship game which Vukovi won 27-17.

Vukovi has reached the final every year since the league began in 2006 and won five times while losing four. The Silverhawks have made the final three times and won it once, in 2012. This is the third time since the league’s inception that the Blue Devils will participate. They reached the championship in 2009 but lost to Vukovi.

 Croatia

The Croatian league kicks off in the fall.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic season got underway this past weekend and the Prague Black Panthers again played back to back football games. On Saturday they dropped a one point loss to the Vienna Vikings 31-30 in the Austrian league while on Sunday they overcame a tough Pribram Bobcat squad in Czech league play 10-9. In the only other game in the Czech Republic the Prague Lions beat the Brno Alligators 37-12.

Denmark

 

The Danish American Football League kicked off its 2015 season as the defending champion Copenhagen Towers picked up where they left off in 2014. On the road they blanked the AaB 89ers 47-0. In the only other game, the Aarhus Tigers, 2014 finalists pounded the Herlev Rebels 36-0.

This coming weekend, the Copenhagen Towers will host Sweden’s Carlstad Crusaders in Champions League play.

Finland

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

France

In a showdown of the top two teams in the French leagueFFFA  –  the Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône Cougars remain undefeated by beating Aix-en-Provence Argonautes  by less than a touchdown, 41-36.  Meanwhile, last year’s powerhouses and preseason favorites the La Courneuve Flash and the Thonon Black Panthers met and this time the Black Panthers came away with a victory by the slimmest of margins, 20-19. The Elancourt Templiers beat the Nice Dauphins 25-2 while the Asnieres Molosses  defeated the Nimes Centurions 34-20.

The Cougars lead the league with a 6-0-1 record followed by the Argonautes in second at 4-2 and the Dauphins in third at 4-3. The Flash sit in fifth spot, out of the playoffs so far.

The Argonautes will play an IFAF Europe Champions League game against Osos Rivas from Madrid this weekend.

[tps_title]Around the Continent[/tps_title]

Germany

The GFL season starts this weekend and will see defending champs the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions host the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, quarter-finalists 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  got underway two weeks ago as the defending champion London Warriors traveled to Bristol and handed the Aztecs a 43-0 defeat. This past weekend, the London Blitz had no trouble with the London Olympians beating them 35-0. The scheduled game between the Coventry Jets and the Sheffield Predators was postponed.

The East Kilbride Pirates hosted the Irish champion Belfast Trojans and in a well played game defeated them 24-14 scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns.

Holland

There were three games  in the Dutch American Football League (AFBN) this past weekend. In the upset of the week, the Hilversum Hurricanes handed the Amsterdam Crusaders their first loss of the season beating them 20-14 in overtime. This was the first time the Hurricanes have beaten the Crusaders in 11 years. The cellar-dwelling Amsterdam Panthers beat up on the Lightning Leiden 32-3 while the Arnhem Falcons had no trouble with the Rotterdam Trojans whipping them 30-0.

The Falcons still lead Group A with a 6-0 record with the Eagles right behind at 4-1.  Although the Amsterdam Crusaders were shaken by their loss, the perennial championship contenders still lead Group B at 5-1.

Hungary

There was only one game played in Hungary. The Budapest Cowbells more than doubled the Györ Sharks beating them 48-23. The Cowbells now lead the league at 2-0.

Ireland

North

The South Dublin Panthers got their first win of the season blanking the Carrickfergus Knights 21-0. Then the Dublin Rebels  upset the Craigavon Cowboys 18-8.

The North-leading Belfast Trojans traveled to Scotland to take on the East Kilbride Pirates, one of the top teams in the British American Football Association. They were defeated 24-14 by the Pirates who were British semi-finalists in 2014.

South

In the only game in the South, the University of Limerick Vikings, who are undefeated and lead the conference at 4-0, beat the North Kildare Reapers handily 18-0.

[tps_title]Around the Continent[/tps_title]

Italy

 

North

The Milano Seamen made a statement over the weekend, upending the previously undefeated Bolzano Giants 30-14. With that, the Seamen lead the North. However, the Parma Panthers have a game in hand and could create a three-way tie should they beat the Rhinos next week.

South

In the South, the Roma Grizzlies edged the Ferrara Aquila 13-10. The Lazio Marines are dominating the conference though with a 4-0 record and the best offense in Italy having scored 172 points in four games.

The Milano Seamen will open their IFAF Europe Champions League round this weekend by hosting the L’Hospitalet Pioners from Spain.

Norway

The Norwegian league got underway with four teams in action. The Eidsvoll 1814s were in tough against the Oslo Vikings but finally eked out a 7-0 victory in a physical battle. The Lura Bulls demonstrated that they are aiming at a championship by trouncing the Nidaros Domers 62-12. Special teams played a part in the lopsided victory as evidenced by this Bulls kickoff return. Simon Bruset the returner should have been down twice at least.

Poland

 

All eight teams in the Polish league (PLFA) were in action last weekend. The Wroclaw Panthers took a 24-0 first half lead against the Warsaw Eagles and then cruised to a 37-14 victory. The Lowlanders defeated the Zagłębie Steelers 33-12 while Kozly beat Husaria 36-20. Finally, the defending champion Gydina Seahawks whipped the Sharks 48-18. Tailback Marcus Sims was a force gaining almost 200 yards rushing and scoring two touchdowns (one shown above).

The Panthers and Seahawks seem to be making it a two team race in Poland. The Panthers have scored 142 points in three games allowing only 21 against. The Seahawks are not far behind posting 150 points on offense and allowing 69.

[tps_title]Around the Continent[/tps_title]

Portugal

 

South

One game was played in the South in Portugal. The Lisboa Devils handed the winless Algarve Pirates their seventh straight defeat beating them 41-0. The Lisboa Navigators remain undefeated in first place in the South at 7-0, followed by the Crusaders who are 5-2 on the season so far.

North

The Braga Warriors defeated the Paredes Lumberjacks 28-13 to take a firm hold on second place in the North. The Porto Mutts at 7-0 and with only one game to go will finish first in the conference. The Braga Warriors sit in second still with a 5-2 record, their two defeats suffered at the hands of the Mutts.

Romania

89ers vs Crusaders

There were no games played in Romania this past weekend. The Cluj Crusaders lead the North West conference while the Bucharest Rebels sit atop the South East.

Russia

The Russian league does not start until May.

Serbia

Bitter enemies lend a helping hand

There were no games played in Serbia. The league will resume on April 25. After two games played the Novi Sad Dukes top the standings at 2-0, followed by Vukovi and Pancevo both also at 2-0.

The Vukovi game against the Wild Boars Easter Weekend was interrupted by an injury. A player from each team helped to bring the stretcher out onto the field before returning to battle against each other.

This weekend Vukovi Belgrade will take on old rivals the Ljubjana Silverhawks from Slovenia in a Champions League East matchup.

[tps_title]Around the Continent[/tps_title]

Spain

 

Despite losing their quarterback Chris Debowski two weeks ago for the season, the Valencia Firebats managed to hold off the defending champion Badalona Dracs keeping them to three points beating them 7-3. Then Madrid’s Osos Rivas beat the Valencia Giants 27-14 breaking a logjam to take sole possession of second place in the league. Finally, the L’Hospitalet Pioners trounced the Mallorca Voltors 41-6.

With three games remaining in the Spanish league the Firebats still remain in first with a 6-1 record, but Osos Rivas is now in second followed by Badalona and the Giants. The Pioners still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs but it will mean winning all three of their remaining games while the Giants would have to lose two of their last three.

The Pioners head to Milan this weekend to take on the Milano Seamen in a first round Champions League Central game.

Sweden

The Swedish season gets underway on May 2 this year. But the Carlstad Crusaders travel to Copenhagen this weekend to face the Towers in the first round of Champions League North play.

Switzerland

 

In a surprising upset the Zurich Renegades beat the defending champion Basel Gladiators for the first time since 2012, handing them a 21-12 loss. Then the Calanda Broncos manhandled the Winterthur Warriors 45-20. Finally the Luzern Lions dropped a 13-10 decision to the Bern Grizzlies. The Gladiator’s loss enabled Calanda to take sole possession of first in the Swiss league, and dropped Basel to fourth.

 Turkey

In Turkey, the league leading Koc Rams beat the Bogazici Sultans 20-7 to remain undefeated at 6-0. The Gazi Warriors defeated the Anadolu USK Rangers 30-16 to pull even with them in the standings.  The ODTÜ Falcons had a walkover win over the Ege BSK Dolphins who have folded. The score from the game between Hacettepe Red Deers and the second place ITÜ Hornets has not yet been reported.

 

Ukraine

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