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Kookaburras Find it Tough

Tuesday 7 September 2010

The much anticipated debut of Ireland's first Australian Rules Football side took place on a rainy pitch in Kilrea on Saturday.

The Kilrea Kookaburras invited a combination side of Dublin/Derry Gaelic players nicknamed the "Dubderrys" to do battle with.

The match also served as a selection trial for the National side, who will travel to take part in the European Championships in Milan in October, so all girls were out to impress.

The ball was thrown up and Alana McShane and Maria Doherty threw themselves at it, while Kilrea Captain Aine McAteer roved the carpet underneath.  It was hard going, as the ball was quickly soaked and heavy. and all players found it hard to make good contact with the ball.

Anna McWilliams collects a token from an AFL Selector on behalf of Kathleen Kielt

Anna McWilliams registered the first point of the match before the excellent run of the Dubderry's soon had them in front with some spectacular goal scoring.  Laura Maron screamed abuse at the Umpire, inviting him to take a shopping bout at Specsavers, but she couldn't help the fantastic play of the combo side as they ran in numbers and continued to out muscle the Kookaburras.  It was very tough throughout the match for backliner's Marie Hickey and Keelan Brady trying to close the floodgates of their maurading opposition.

A large crowd had gathered to watch the match, and they were all cheering as Kathleen Kielt and Maggie McWilliams charged in for some big tackles.  Indeed, the Kookaburras were a much improved unit after quarter time, and Kathleen registered a classic "Torpedo" goal in the second quarter.  It was however, the Dubderry's who proved to be the stronger, faster, and more accurate side, running away with a comfortable victory away from home.  On being presented with the Inaugural IWAFL (Irish Womens' Australian Football League) Cup, Dubderry Captain quoted "We'll be back!"  After such a fantastic effort, it was decided all girls who played the match are eligible to play for the Irish side or a combined European side in October's Internationals.  Kilrea may not have won their first match, but as Europe's first Aussie Rules side and after scoring a trip to Italy, they are winners already!