Twenty-six male and female teams representing 21 nations participated in the tournament — an international competition in Australian rules football — over the past fortnight
Ireland, the competition’s inaugural champion in 2011, stormed ahead in the fourth quarter on Saturday and never looked back after Colleen Quinn goaled with 10 minutes remaining (25-21).
“We fought to the end and we did it as a team,” said Quinn, who plays for the Ulster Kookaburras. “It has been a tough couple of weeks, but we always had the belief. There were a few stern words ahead of the fourth quarter. We knew we just had to move the ball and finish the job.”
The perennial finalists were kept apart in the first four rounds in the competition pool games and both were unbeaten en route to the decider. Waterford woman, Carol Breen, was named player-of-the-match, and was central to the victory.
“I am so proud of Carol and the girls. We never gave up,” said coach and manager Pat Leavy, who was knocked unconscious playing for the men’s team in its penultimate match. “We thought if we kept hitting them hard, their heads would go down, but to be fair they kept getting up and coming back at us.”
The Irish men’s team — also celebrating its third place in division one — played the role of 19th player for its all-conquering counterparts.
C. Donnelly (Tyrone), Ulster Kookaburras; A. Maginn (Down), Ulster Kookaburras; R. McGee (Donegal), Ulster Kookaburras; S. O’Donovan (Cork), UCC Crusaders; L. Flannery (Kerry), Dublin Angels; E. Kelly (Derry), Ulster Kookaburras; F. Roarty (Donegal), Ulster Kookaburras; C. Cassidy (Donegal), Ulster Kookaburras; O. McCann (Armagh), Ulster Kookaburras; O. Mulcahy (Cork), Wandsworth Demons, London; L. Corrigan Duryea (Cavan), Melbourne FC; C. Breen (Waterford), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; N. Hainsworth (Dublin), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; L. Connolly (Mayo), Wandsworth Demons, London; C. Fitzpatrick (Down), Diamond Creek, Melbourne; M. Creegan (Longford), Sydney University; M. Cullen (Wicklow), Dublin Angels; M. Keating (Limerick), UCC Crusaders; A. Gillespie (Donegal), Ulster Kookaburras; R. Fox (Sligo), Perth Angels, Western Australia; S. Ryan (Tipperary), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; C. Quinn (Tyrone), Ulster Kookaburras; G. Behan (Kildare), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; E. Treanor (Galway), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney;
M. Moriarty (Armagh), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; L. Russell (Donegal), Ulster Kookaburras; M Higgins (Galway), Galway Magpies; D. Geraghty (Dublin), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney; C. McCutcheon (Cavan), UTS Shamrocks, Sydney;
Tom Madigan, Roger Clarke, Brendan Kelly (Antrim); team manager: Pat Leavy (Westmeath); tour manager: Paul Ryan.