BY QUALIFYING for and attending the 2018 AFL Europe Champions League, West Clare Waves Women’s Aussie Rules Club had already made history in becoming the first ever Irish club to take part.
They weren’t stopping there.
Over a gruelling five match schedule at the Dutch National Rugby Centre on Saturday, the Clare based outfit went all the way and took out the title to be crowned European Champions.
The core of the team that made the trip was made up of six Kilmihil girls, team captain Rosie Currane, Ailish Considine, Laura Egan, Ellie O’Gorman, Edel McMahon and Sarah Browne, also featuring Yvonne Downes from Doonbeg.
All featured heavily over the day which saw a squad of 15 players take on the continents best.
In the Group Stages, the Waves faced Bordeaux Bombers from France, Nottingham Scorpions from England and Wandsworth Demons from London.
Winning their first two games against the Bombers and Scorpions saw the Waves secure a semi-final spot with a game still to play against the tournament favourites.
On paper the London outfit read a far superior outfit with no less than 12 Australian Nationals in their squad, but the Clare girls battled strongly from the first ball up to cause the shock of the day.
By topping the group with three wins from three, West Clare Waves would face the runners up from the other group Port Malmo Lynx, from Sweden, in the semi-final. With a place in the Grand Final at stake, the Waves made no mistake and after another physical battle, they secured a well deserved victory.
Awaiting the waves in the final was once again the Wandsworth Demons, who had come through the other semi-final. Played in front of a packed grand stand and streamed live on the internet the final promised to be a cracker with few believing that the Waves could beat the Aussie heavy Demons at their own game twice in one Day.
As they had done all day the Waves came out of the blocks fighting and played courageously from start to finish never going behind and leading at the final siren on a score line of 5-2-32 to 0-3-3.
As is traditional in Aussie Rules the winning coach , Michael Currane (originally from Kilmihil) was called upon to introduce his players to receive their winners medals before captain Rosie Currane was presented with the AFL Europe Champions League Cup and Perpetual Shield by the Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands Brett Mason and First Consul of the Australian Embassy Tony Pubjie.
As the sport of Women’s Australian Rules Football continues to grow in popularity globally, a team from the Banner county has achieved huge success in their inaugural season here in Ireland and now have claimed a huge honour on the international front. West Clare Waves return to domestic competition on April 28th as Round 3 of the ARFLIW Super 7’s League takes place in Dublin.