Malmö GAA win 10th Successive International Cup
March 31st 2019
The 2019 outdoor season began in earnest on a beautiful spring morning with the 10th annual International Cup, a mixed rules game contested by Malmö GAA and the Port Malmö Maulers AFL Club. The GAA club, having all previous 9 meetings between the two team, the Maulers were buoyed by the arrival of some new and impressive imports and fully believed that this would be their year.
With the throw-in set for 11.15, the Maulers hit the ground running at about 10.45 with a very organised and professional warm up, determined that the cup would be going home with them. Meanwhile, organised as ever, the GAA team started to kick the ball around at about 11.05. All the while, some of their team scrambled to line the field with shoes borrowed from unsuspecting players given the absence of paint, while their team jerseys arrived along with their starting centre back approximately five minutes after the stated throw-in time. The delayed start did little to dampen spirits, however, on such a bright morning.
The first quarter started at a fast pace, with the Maulers showing their intent with some early scores. Malmö GAA looked rattled but recovered to lead 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. An early goal to start the second quarter served to settle the GAA club’s nerves and took the wind from the Mauler’s sails. From here, normal service was resumed and the GAA club controlled the quarter, scoring a further goal, two overs and three behinds, compared to just two behinds for the Maulers. At 33-10 to the GAA club, the game was as close as possible to being settled at half time.
The third quarter was more of a quiet affair, with both teams struggling to score. Both teams got two overs in the quarter but three behinds for the GAA club stretched their lead with the score at 41-16 entering the last period. While some tempers flared in the final quarter and a couple of nasty injuries forced players off, the scoring pattern continued and the game finished 59-24. All in all, both teams have plenty to work on facing into their respective seasons, while the Aussies will be wondering how they let the game slip away after such a bright start.
After the post-game pleasantries, the club barbecue got it’s first dusting down of the year as players, coaches and spectators enjoyed a few cold beers. Plenty of players plan to play both GAA and AFL this year so here’s hoping to more co-operation and more days like these in the future.
Öresunds Challenge – Copenhagen Take Round 1
April 14th 2019
The gaelic football season started for the men of Malmö and Copenhagen on Saturday, with the first round of the inaugural Öresunds Challenge, a home-and-away fixture between two local rivals. While originally planned as a double-bill with the ladies teams facing off first in the day, Copenhagen ladies were unfortunately unable to field a team for this fixture. This left the pride of both clubs resting on the men’s shoulders.
On an incredibly windy day, Copenhagen won the coin-toss and chose to start with the wind on their backs. This proved a wise decision as they raced out to an early lead, scoring an incredible four first half goals. Malmö kept in touch with a goal and a couple of points but Copenhagen went in to the half time huddle with a sizeable advantage.
The second half began with signs of life from Malmö, with two early goals launching a fight-back. Copenhagen played the conditions well, however, holding possession and making use of some surging runs forward from the back to keep the score ticking with a number of well taken points. In the end, Malmö couldn’t sustain the challenge and Copenhagen emerged victorious on a scoreline of 4-8 to 3-3.
After the football, those who still had energy to burn dusted off their hurleys for a brief puck-around. The weather stymied attempts to get a game going, as at this stage almost everyone wanted to get in out of the cold and wind to head to Fagans for post-game festivities.
Both teams went away with plenty to work on but also plenty of positives as both sides blooded plenty of fresh faces. With some key players returning in two weeks, Malmö’s men will be aiming to turn the tables in the return fixture, while the ladies’ excitement is growing to start their season in Copenhagen on April 27th.
Copenhagen take the first Öresunds Challenge
April 28th 2019
Following the first game in Malmö two weeks prior, Copenhagen entered the second leg with an eight point advantage. Malmö were up against it and knew an inspired performance would be required to turn over the deficit away from home against a strong Copenhagen outfit. Right from the off, Malmö burst out of the gates with plenty of energy, scoring an early goal and a handful of points, slightly getting the better of the early exchanges. Copenhagen took their points when they were on offer, however, and kept themselves in touch on the scoreboard. With Malmö leading by two points and the clock ticking down in the first half, a mis-taken ’45 was gathered by Copenhagen, leading to a deflected goal and Copenhagen entered the break with a one point lead, 1-5 to 1-4.
Conceding a goal right on the stroke of half time took the wind out of Malmö’s sails and gave Copenhagen all the momentum. Malmö struggled to win their own possession from kick-outs as Copenhagen did an excellent job of suffocating their key players and getting to all the breaking balls. As Malmö tired, Copenhagen started to turn the screw, launching wave after wave of attack. Despite some excellent goal-line saves, the scores kept coming and it finished to 3-11 to 1-7 to Copenhagen.
Over the two games, Copenhagen were the more organised team and took advantage of their greater experience and strength in depth. They thoroughly deserved their victory and are worthy champions of the first Öresunds Challenge. We hope that the challenge will continue in the years to come and we look forward to seeking revenge in round 1 of the Nordic Championship on May 11th.
Nordic Championship Round 1
May 13th 2019
Now that the dust has settled on the first round of the championship, it’s time to reflect on a great day, where the excellent weather was matched by fantastic enthusiasm and great performances from all involved.
On a beautiful day, both Malmö teams enjoyed bright starts. Malmö Ladies began the day with a comfortable victory over Helsinki, followed by a well-earned win against Copenhagen. Meanwhile, the Men of Malmö started by beating Stockholm B at a canter before earning some sweet-tasting revenge over Copenhagen following two successive defeats in the Öresunds challenge during April. From here, the two teams’ fortunes started to diverge. While the ladies continued with wins over both Stockholm teams, the men failed to put in the kind of performance they were capable of against Odense, taking a tough defeat on the chin. The earlier wins were enough to see them through to a semi-final, however, with the winners of the other group, Stockholm A, standing in their path to the final.
As the ladies waited for their final, which was to be the last match of the day, Malmö Men faced off against Stockholm. Despite a valiant performance, a very strong Stockholm had too much in the tank, their strength in depth carrying them through to the final. With tired legs but plenty of pride restored, the lads re-grouped to dispatch with Helsinki in a game that was played in great spirits by both sides and, despite a lofty scoreline in Malmö’s favour, both sides left the field with plenty of smiles on their faces.
The men’s final was a rip-roaring affair, with two evenly matched teams from Stockholm and Odense. In a game that ebbed and flowed, Stockholm emerged victorious by the smallest of margins. Attention then turned to the Ladies’s final and Malmö’s only chance of silverware on the day. While Stockholm Yellow produced a strong performance in the final, keeping with Malmö for most of the first half, the reigning champions continued where they left off at the end of last season, showing their skill and composure throughout. Eventually, Malmö began to pull away in the second half, building a strong lead which they would never relinquish, the game ending 1-11 to 0-8.
Malmö GAA would like to thank all of the clubs, players, selectors, referees, supporters and everyone else who helped out in making it such a successful day. We’re all looking forward to seeing everybody again in Stockholm for Round 2 in August.
Some photos from the day are posted on the event page on facebook.
- Stockholm Yellow 2-6 Copenhagen 1-4
- Malmö 1-9 Helsinki 0-1
- Stockholm Yellow 1-5 Stockholm Black 1-3
- Malmö 2-10 Copenhagen 2-5
- Helsinki 2-1 Stockholm A 1-2
- Malmö 2-9 Stockholm Yellow 1-4
- Copenhagen 3-9 Stockholm Black 0-4
- Stockholm Yellow 3-8 Helsinki 0-4
- Malmö 1-8 Stockholm Black 1-4
- Copenhagen 3-7 Helsinki 0-3
Men’s Group 1
- Odense 1-6 Copenhagen 0-4
- Malmö 5-7 Stockholm B 0-3
- Odense 4-7 Stockholm B 0-3
- Malmö 4-7 Copenhagen 2-2
- Odense 7-6 Malmö 0-4
- Copenhagen 5-5 Stockholm B 0-4
Men’s Group 2
- Stockholm A 8-15 Gothenburg 0-0
- Helsinki 1-4 Gothenburg 0-3
- Stockholm A 5-15 Helsinki 1-3
- Semi Final 1: Stockholm 4-6 Malmö 2-4
- Semi Final 2: Odense 6-15 Helsinki 0-3
- 5th Place: Gothenburg 3-5 Copenhagen 1-4
- 3rd Place: Malmö 6-4 Helsinki 1-2
- Men’s Final: Stockholm 1-8 Odense 2-4
- Ladies’ Final: Malmö 1-11 Stockholm 0-8
Team W D L For Ag. Diff.
- Malmö 4 0 0 6-36 4-14 28
- Stockholm Yellow 3 0 1 7-23 4-20 12
- Copenhagen 2 0 2 9-25 4-23 17
- Helsinki 1 0 3 2-09 8-26 -35
- Stockholm Black 0 0 4 3-13 7-23 -22
Men’s Group 1
Team W D L For Ag. Diff.
- Odense 3 0 0 12-19 0-11 44
- Malmö 2 0 1 9-18 9-11 7
- Copenhagen 1 0 2 7-11 5-17 0
- Stockholm B 0 0 3 0-10 14-19 -51
Men’s Group 2
Team W D L For Ag. Diff.
- Stockholm A 2 0 0 13-30 1-3 63
- Helsinki 1 0 1 2-7 5-18 -20
- Gothenburg 0 0 2 0-3 9-19 -43
- Malmö (25 Points)
- Stockholm Yellow (20)
- Copenhagen (16)
- Helsinki (13)
- Stockholm Black (11)
- Stockholm A (25 Points)
- Odense (20)
- Malmö (16)
- Helsinki (13)
- Gothenburg (11)
- Copenhagen (10)
- Stockholm B (9)
Nordic Championship Round 2
September 2nd 2019
Following on from Round 1 in Malmö, the Nordic Championship continued to be blessed with fantastic weather, and while the day ended with a disappointing finish for Malmö GAA, Round 2 proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Malmö joined with Gothenburg for the day, and our hopes for silverware were entirely dependent on the ladies’ performance, with the mens team aiming to perform as well as they could. As expected, the ladies started brightly, winning their first two games against Stockholm Black and Helsinki. This was followed by a close game with Stockholm Yellow, who won by a point. Malmö managed to beat Copenhagen in their last group game to guarantee progression to the final. In a repeat of Round 1, our ladies faced off against Stockholm Yellow in the final. Stockholm started the brighter, with two goals in the first half in a bid to avenge for their round 1 defeat, but Malmö fought back into the game and took a lead as the game entered the closing stages. It wasn’t to be in the end, however, as a late Stockholm goal meant that the trophy would stay in the capital. It is now all to play for in the final round, where Malmö will be bidding to win their second Nordic Championship in as many years.
On the men’s pitch, the day started brightly for the mens team with a strong victory over Stockholm B and despite losing to Odense in their second game, the men made it through to the semi-finals, where they played Stockholm A. A poor start in the semi allowed Stockholm to build up a sizeable lead and a strong second half performance from the men in green, the gap was much to big to bridge. This left a 3rd place playoff against Copenhagen, who had been defeated by Odense in the other semi-final. Malmö and Copenhagen both went with experimental line-ups for the 3rd place playoff and it showed. Malmö held a slender lead throughout the majority of a fairly dis-jointed game, only for Copenhagen to hit a last-minute goal to win the game by a point.
In the men’s final, Odense produced a great performance to beat Stockholm and atone for their loss in the final of Round 1. With one victory and one second-place finish each, Odense and Stockholm will fight it out in Helsinki for the destination of the 2019 Championship.
As a club, we want to thank Stockholm GAA for hosting a great tournament and we look forward to seeing you in Helsinki to compete for the Ladies’ championship!
European Championship, Vienna
October 2nd 2019
The final day of the season saw Malmö GAA send 9 boys and 4 girls to Vienna for the European Gaelic Football Championship. The men, joined by one player from Helsinki and helped out by some borrowed hands from Vienna and Zurich, competed in Malmö green, while the girls joined with Leuven and Hamburg ladies to play as an amalgamation.
The day started first for the ladies and with a number of players who haven’t played together before, it took time for the team to gel and settle into the game. This led to a slow start and, despite coming together well in the second half, ultimately led to a three point defeat to Frankfurt. They grew into the day, however, and improved to draw with Zurich in their second game and then went one further to defeat Slovak Shamrocks in a dominating victory, a series of results which would see them into the Junior semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the men’s team started their day against a strong Hamburg side. Hamburg enjoyed a lot of possession which was converted into plenty of scores. On the other side of the field Malmö were almost unable to score a point. They were, however, converting almost every chance they got into a goal. In the end, Malmö won out by a point with a final score of 4-1 to 2-6. This was followed up with a well-earned victory over Slovak Shamrocks. Next up, Munich Colmcilles provided a stern test, but one which Malmö were able to match, the game ending in a draw at six points apiece. A deserved victory over Paris in the final group game saw Malmö through to the Junior A semi-final.
After some confusion with score difference across the groups to decide who would reach the knock-out stages, we Malmö eventually found out who they would face next. The ladies would go on to face Warsaw, while Prague awaited the men. After a slow start in the semi-final and down a point at half-time, Malmö swung into action in the second half. Prague struggled to advance the ball under intense Malmö pressure at every kick-out and in the end Malmö won comfortable by six points. The final was to come a short while later against, of all teams, Copenhagen. On the other side of the venue, the ladies met their match against a strong Warsaw team. While our side fought bravely and performed well, Warsaw had too much to offer and marched on the ladies final, which they would go on to win.
The final started with Malmö taking an early lead and dominating proceedings throughout the first half. Copenhagen struggled to find their men with kick outs under an strong Malmö press, while Malmö’s backs were first to the ball when it did make its way past halfway. Going forward Malmö took an early goal and tacked on a couple of points to lead going into half time. Things changed in the second half however, with Copenhagen changing their tactics to run at a tiring Malmö midfield. This led to a lot of success for Copenhagen who took a four point lead into the final minute after a series of points and a well-taken goal. There was more drama to come however, with Malmö earning a penalty with about 30 seconds on the clock. The penalty was dispatched into the bottom corner and Malmö knew they would have one last chance to score an equalizing point. A scrappy kick-out from Copenhagen gifted a sideline ball to Malmö within scoring range on the right-hand side. It wasn’t to be, however, as the final shot just ended up on the wrong side of the post. With that, the final whistle went and Copenhagen celebrated into the evening as deserved winners.
In the end, it was a great effort from both of our sides who deserve enormous credit for their performances despite being low on numbers and playing with players they had never previously met. Congratulations to Warsaw and Copenhagen and thanks to Vienna Gaels for hosting an excellent tournament.