Laura Duryea, Brendan Kelly and Onora Mulcahy jump for joy

Ireland Banshees 4.1 (25) Canada Northern Lights 3.3 (21)

The Alfa Irish Banshees, the Irish women’s Australian Rules Football national team have won the 2017 AFL International Cup this morning in the Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. In a nail biting finish, with the Irish up by less than a goal, they held the valiant Canadian women out to secure a famous win. Women’s Aussie Rules has never been more popular with the new semi-professional league that started this year and it was Ireland’s only women’s AFL player, Cavan woman Laura Duryea that lifted the cup alongside co-captain Onora Mulcahy from Cork.

The final siren

Canada led for most of the game but Ireland managed to get ahead in the final quarter before putting up an impenetrable defence in the final five minutes to repel attack after attack from the Canadians.   The Irish goal scorers were Linda Connolly, Aisling Gillespe, Maebh Moriarity and Colleen Quinn with the best on ground award going to the impressive Sydney based Carol Breen.

Best on Ground Carol Breen

Speaking after the game Irish joint-manager Brendan Kelly said “we are delighted with the effort the girls put in against a very strong Canadian team and the celebrations will go long into the night after waiting six years to win the most important competition in women’s international AFL”. Watch a replay of the game on www.afl.com.au/internationalcup and listen to the Irish winning song below.

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