By Dan Ranory, 12th of November
Galway City- The second game day of the 2011-2012 Irish Lacrosse League took place on an uncharacteristic dry and sunny Saturday at Dangan Sports Fields on the NUI Galway campus. Despite less than ideal field conditions the day was another successful lacrosse event In Ireland.
On the men’s side the day began with a scrimmage between Dublin Bay and Queens University. Queens showed much improvement from the previous gameday but, were unable to match the experience of the Dublin Bay players.
The second game of the day was Dublin LC versus the home side NUI Galway. This was a very physical match that saw Galway come being victorious 7-3. Notably this was Galway’s first league win against Dublin LC, help out by goals from two of their Rookies Toto Mccabe and Jake Royle.
The third fixture of the day was Dublin Bay versus University College Dublin (UCD). Despite injuries to key players , Dublin Bay was able to rely on a productive offense and solid goaltending from two time defensive MVP Kevin Quinn to win 5-0.
The next match was another scrimmage with Queens playing Galway. Queens played a hard fought game but unfortunately lost narrowly 2-1.
The penultimate game of the day pitted Dublin LC and UCD, historically the strongest two teams in the league neither wanted to leave without a win. Tempers flared early in the game and UCD was able to capitalize on some Man Up opportunities. Ultimately, UCD defense was able to all but shut down Dublin’s normally potent offense and win convincingly 6-1.
The final match of the day was between Dublin Bay and the home team Galway. Galway’s captain Sonny Campbell struck first giving Galway the earlier lead. The next two goals came from Dublin Bay’s midfielder, and current ILL point’s leader Paddy O’Leary and attacker Paul Murran. The half ended with Dublin Bay leading 2-1 After the half a change in offensive strategy allowed Brendan Walsh to score two almost identical goals and give the home team the lead. The rest of the game was a back and forth, very physical game with Dublin Bay receiving some late man-up opportunities. Galway’s defense lead by player coach Dara McCreary was up to the task and was able to shut down Dublin Bay’s man-up. Determined not to allow Dublin Bay a leveling goal, goaltender Sean Gibson came up with several late saves that allowed Galway to escape with a 3-2 victory, their first against Dublin Bay.
The second Irish Lacrosse League game day has proved the league is just as exciting as predicted. Parity is the ruling theme of this year with all the teams with in two games of each other. Currently Dublin Bay and Galway share a tie for the league with 10 points, UCD and Dublin LC are close behind with 8 and 6 points respectively.
February 11 will see the League returning to Dublin were the Irish Lacrosse players will again battle to see who can come out on top.
This coming season promises even more excitement.