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Kerrygold 2003 Euro League - Round 5 Press Release
Sat 09th August 2003

Post Tournament Press Release

The fifth round of the Kerrygold sponsored European Gaelic Football League was successfully hosted by Muenchen Colmcilles on August 9th last. Teams came from far and wide to the Gartenstadt soccer grounds in the southeast of the city to partake in the second annual Muenchen Colmcilles tournament. A total of nine men's teams and five women's took part, involving members from Munich, Wuerzburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Hamburg, Amsterdam, The Hague, Paris, Rennes, Luxembourg and Barcelona.

The group stages got underway at approximately 10 am with the scorching European sun and temperatures in the mid 30s making conditions for football very different to those usually experienced at home. All group games in both competitions were seven minutes a half, with teams allowed an unlimited number of substitutes within a panel of fifteen players. After a very entertaining and competitive series of games the men's semi-finals line up comprised of Muenchen 'A', Muenchen 'B', Paris and Luxembourg. A combined Amsterdam/The Hague selection qualified to meet Luxembourg in the ladies final.

The Munich derby proved to be a close affair with the 'B' selection leading at half time. However a goal just after the restart set the 'A' team on their way to a deserved victory. The other semi-final saw Luxembourg triumph over a fancied Paris outfit. The Luxembourg ladies proved to be successful in their duel with the Dutch representatives to claim their second consecutive Munich tournament.

An exhibition hurling game between Munich and European selections took place before the day's play was brought to a close by the eagerly awaited clash of Luxembourg and Muenchen 'A' in the men's final. These teams had already met in the group stages with the resulting draw showing how evenly matched they were. Luxembourg gained the early initiative with Munich struggling somewhat to find their rhythm. The pendulum looked to have swung well and truly in Luxembourg's favour with two early second half goals to put them six points ahead. However some well taken scores helped Munich claw their way back into contention, and Colmcilles levelled the game as a result of two well-taken goals. All present were on tender hooks as both sides strived for victory in the final moments. The decisive twist in the tale came in the dying seconds when a speculative ball into the Luxembourg square was punched home by Munich's Pat Collins to give Colmcilles their second consecutive victory in their home competition.

The Colmcilles club was very honoured to be able to welcome the Irish ambassador for Germany, Sean O' hUiggin, who made the trip from Berlin. Mr. O' hUiggin oversaw the throwing in of the ball at the final as well as the presentation of medals and trophies at the tournament banquet in the famed Augustiner Beer Hall that evening. Also the Irish Dancers of Rince Tír na nóg provided the crowd of over 250 with a beautiful display of scenes from Lord of the Dance. All clubs thoroughly enjoyed the weekend in the Bavarian capital and sights are now firmly set on the next tournament, to be hosted by Barcelona in late September.

By Dónal Holohan

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