The second and final round for this year’s Benelux hurling/camogie tournament held in Maastricht saw BGAA Camogie field three teams with hurlers fielding two teams. A total of 45 players lined out in the Belgium Colours which resulted in the BGAA camogie team ‘Les Tintins’ winning the competition and the hurlers losing out in the final. For the first time in a while (maybe ever?), three teams from the same club were competing in a camogie tournament which was great to see!
Seven hurling teams competed in Maastricht with Belgium in both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ competitions. For Belgium ‘B’ (Flagey) they started off the day against Luxembourg ‘B’ which resulted in a tough loss. Their performance improved for the 2nd game where they were defeated by Den Haag narrowly. The last game of the day ended against a strong Eindhoven side in the blistering heat which didn’t go the way of Flagey. The lads deserved their pints at the end, who did the club proud with their performances and have something to build on for the next tournament. For Belgium ‘A’ (Schuman), they competed in a group of 3 with Luxembourg and Amsterdam. A great win in the first game of the day beating Amsterdam with a score of 1-16 to 1-10. With Luxembourg defeating Amsterdam in their first game, both teams agreed to play straight in a final. We started with the bare minimum of 9 for the final. During the game, we had another injury which resulted in the injured Brendan O’Donoghue coming out of the shower and having to stand in goals wearing his lovely chino shorts (scoring 2 points). At halftime, Belgium was only 3 points down but a strong Luxembourg side ran away with it in the end winning the competition.
Only three Camogie teams were competing in this Benelux round with all three teams being Belgium, with Luxembourg adding some players to ‘Les Tintins’. The three teams were named after famous Belgium comic books ‘Les Schtroumpfs’, ‘Les Chats’ and ‘Les Tintins’. ‘Les Tintins’ had some BGAA players wearing the Lux colours for the day!
‘Les Chats’ topped their group winning both their games against ‘Les Schtroumpfs’ (4-09 to 4-08) and ‘Les Tintins’ (4-04 to 2-07). ‘Les Tintins’ managed to beat ‘Les Schtroumpfs’ 4-06 to 3-06 to qualify for that final spot. This meant ‘Les Chats’ and ‘Les Tintins’ were matched against each other in the final. ‘Les Tintins’ won the competition with a final score of 3-12 to 4-03.
Over the two Benelux rounds, Belgium Hurlers managed to finish 1st and 2nd respectively. The hurlers will now have their eyes on the first European Championship round which takes place in Munich at the end of July. With the Camogie team winning both Benelux rounds, they will be looking to keep those great numbers and form for the first round also. The past two Benelux rounds have been great preparation overall for the European Championship. The aim now is to get more competitive game time for both codes against teams from all over Europe while having fun doing so.