Reigning European 15s champions Amsterdam, fresh from winning their first 11-a-side European Football Championship last Saturday in Maastricht, take on St.Finians who won a highly competitive Dublin championship final on Tuesday evening after extra-time. Both teams will have to contend with various factors, Amsterdam will have to overcome the logistical challenges of flying to Dublin and little experience of full 15-a-side games while St.Finians have had little time to celebrate their final victory after their energy sapping victory in extra-time on a soft pitch.
Amsterdam won the European Premier Championship after a close semi-final battle with last year’s champions Luxembourg, emerging with a single point win, before defeating an Eindhoven/Den Haag team who were playing in their first European 15s final on September 23rd.
St.Finians finished second in their 4-team group of the Dublin Junior 1 Championship before comfortably defeating St.James Gaels in their 1/4-final on Sept.30th. Three games in ten days between Oct.14th and last Tuesday, saw the Dublin team battle through two tough games following a draw in their semi-final with Man-o-War, winning the replay by the minimum. In Tuesday’s final, they eventually overcame a stubborn Craobh Chiarian team with two goals in the space of a few minutes during extra-time after the teams were level at 0-8 apiece at the hour mark.
This is a historic occasion with the ‘Dam’ being the first European representatives to travel to Ireland to play in the AIB Leinster/All-Ireland Club Championships. Previously, county champions from Longford, Kildare, Dublin and Carlow had travelled to the European county grounds in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, ‘home’ advantage did not prove to be a factor as Guernsey Gaels and Amsterdam (3 times) went out of the competition at the first round stage.
Amsterdam GAC (Europe) V St.Finians, Newcastle (Dublin)
Referee: Noel Hand (Louth)
14:00 – Saturday, October 27th, 2018.
GAA National Development Centre, Abbotstown, Dublin 15