Amsterdam Claim Second Consecutive European Shield

The first of the 2011 Pan-European tournaments kicked off in Brussels last Saturday and Amsterdam GAC picked up right where they left off last November, by winning their second consecutive European Shield tournament with a convincing 22 point victory over Frankfurt.

The club once again showed its strength in numbers by entering two teams in the competition. Amsterdam B's took a big scalp when they defeated former European Champions Paris by three points having being down at half time to the French side. Strong performances in the middle and half-forward line by new players Patrick Sweeney, Ian Watchorn and the returning Daryel Murnin after his year away, led the B's very close on the day to claiming a semi-final spot but the team were unlucky to lose to Prague by two points to miss out. A great team performance overall which leaves a number of players knocking on the door of the A team and giving coach Brendan Finnegan plenty of selection decisions in the weeks to come.

However none of the A team will be looking to relinquish their spots after claiming five wins out of five on the day to pick up the European Shield tournament win. The A's had a hard-fought victory over Belgium in their opening match, but from there on in, the A's always looked likely to live up to their pre-tournament 'favourites' tag. Victories over
Luxembourg, Niort, and a semi-final victory over Liffre followed, before the A's faced off against familiar competition in the form of Frankfurt in the final.

An early point from Frankfurt may have given the German team some hope, but it would soon be dashed as the A's played some of their most attractive football to date and claimed a famous 5-09 to 0-02 point victory including scores by Kenny Monaghan and a stunning Chris Taz penalty!

Big performances throughout the pitch, in particular Ian O'Malley in the backs, Pete Jansen in the middle and a gutsy performance from Fergal Walsh led to the convincing win on the day, and now onto
Guernsey in October where a second tournament victory will keep Amsterdam in pole position to take home the overall European Shield in Limerick in November.