Barcelona, May 25th, 2019
Iberian Football Finals
The European and local elections had to take a back seat to the conclusion of the 14th edition of the Iberian Football Championship which took place in the warm and humid Catalan capital on Saturday. Thirteen teams from all over the Peninsula had qualified for the Ladies’ and Men’s Championship Competition whilst another five teams took part in the Men’s Shield Open event.
A combined Andalusia team travelled in both Ladies´ and Men’s and the Andalusian champions, Gibraltar Gaels, travelled in numbers to make their debut in the Championship. The Galicians swapped the Atlantic Coast for that of the Mediterranean for the weekend with seven teams in all competitions whilst teams from Madrid, Cataluña and Valencia completed the schedule.
Fillas de Breogán and Madrid Harps were defending their Ladies´ and Men’s titles respectively. Madrid Harps were the team to catch in the men’s as they were bidding for their sixth title in a row whilst the Daughters of Breogan were on the quest for four in a row.
The Men’s Shield was hosted by Gaelicos de Gran Sol a short distance away from the Cup Competitions hosted by Barcelona Gaels at La Foixarda Rugby Club.
The Shield was won by Auriense (Ourense) who beat Madrid O’Donnells in the Final. A fantastic achievement for a Club that was formed just five years ago.
Shield Final Auriense 0-05 | Madrid O’Donnells 0-00
In the Cup Competitions it was late afternoon before the knockout stages began.
The Men’s Cup
The Men’s first semi-final was perhaps the game of the day. Estrela Vermelha from Santiago de Compostela were looking to square things up after their 2018 defeat to Madrid in A Coruña. Estrela took an early lead and weren’t going to relinquish it without a fight, but a Madrid second half goal put them one ahead before the lead changed hands a couple of times. Extra time would be needed to separate these two but it was the defending champions who managed to pull away in extra time and they weren’t going to be denied a place in the final.
There they would face a very strong Valencia team who had inflicted a rare defeat on the holders in the first round in February. Madrid got out of the blocks quicker and got the scoreboard ticking over whilst keeping he Valencianos at bay for the most part. Almost nine hours after they started Madrid Harps were able to see it out and claim the six in a row and the decima, their tenth Iberian title.
Semi-Final 1 Madrid Harps 1-10 | Estrela Vermelha 1-07 (AET)
Semi-Final 2 Valencia San Vicent 3-10 | Gibraltar Gaels 0-07
Madrid Harps 0-11 | Valencia San Vicent 0-04
The Ladies Cup
The Ladies’ Final was contested between Estrela Vermelha and Madrid Harps. It was an equally dramatic affair to the Men’s dual between the two. The Harpettes, who were looking to regain the crown they hadn’t claimed for five years, took an early lead and seemed to have things under control until an Estrela goal midway through the second half got them right back in contention. The lead changed hands a few times in the closing stages before the six times champions kicked two points in a row to reclaim the Championship.
This was to be the fifth time that the Club from the capital would complete the double in the Men’s and Ladies’ Championships. Barcelona Gaels are the only other Club to have achieved the double back in 2013.
Semi Final 1 Madrid Harps 2-12 | Barcelona Gaels 0-06
Semi Final 2 Estrela Vermelha 0-10 | Auriense 0-01
Madrid Harps 2-06 | Estrela Vermelha 1-07
Uxía Castro of Auriense won the Ladies MVP and the Men’s Cup winner was Rubén Leborán of Estrela Vermelha (not in photos)
- Madrid Harps
- Valencia GAA
- Estrela Vermelha
- Gibraltar Gaels
- Fillos de Breogán
- Madrid Harpettes
- Estrela Vermelha
- Barcelona Gaels
- Fillas de Breogán
- Valencia GAA
- Éire Óg Sevilla
- Madrid O’Donells
- Andalucía GAA
- Sitges GFC
- Gran Sol
The Referees for the day were:
Ana Garcia Sicilia de Rafael (Madrid Harps)
Eoin Sheedy (Stockholm Gaels)
Guillaume Kerrien (Toulouse)
Quentin Labégorre (Helsinki Harps)
JJ Keaney (Madrid Harps)