The Irish Indoor Lacrosse Development Team, also known as the Emerald Islanders; travelled to France last weekend with 17 potential candidates for the 2015 National team. This development team also included veterans Brendan Gorman, Tim O’Connor, Ryan Doran, Sean Gibson, Colm Murphy, and Michael Bradshaw from the 2011 National Indoor Team. So hopes were high for the team to perform well under National Indoor Assistant Coach Geoff Conn over the weekend.
The Islanders rattled off three straight wins over the Lille Spartaties, Team Marboro, and team DreadLax before running into a tough Pardubice team from the Czech Republic. It would be the Czech team that would emerge victorious in a close fought and well contested game and it was a close game throughout.
The loss still meant that the Islanders would have to play the top seed in the other play-in group who was a team of French and Canadian All-Stars named after their sponsor EuroLaxCo on Sunday Morning. The Islanders proved to be too much for team EuroLaxCo and ran up a 9-1 scoreline in the semi-final setting up a rematch against their Czech rivals Pardubice.
The final was a closely contested game but, again the more experienced Czechs would emerge victorious against a strong Irish Development team. The Islanders finished with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses and the team out-scored their opponents 40-15.
“Overall, the tournament was a huge success for Irish box lacrosse. We had a new goalie (Colm Murphy) who, stood tall in the net
allowing less than 3 goals per game. We also had 10 guys with limited box lacrosse experience and the majority of those have never played in a competitive tournament before. So to be runners-up and play two fiercely competitive games versus a more experienced Czech side is a tremendous success for our first time running as a development team. What’s even more exciting is the buzz this weekend has created around Irish box lacrosse with guys already enquiring about the next chance to suit up!”, said Sean Gibson, Irish Indoor lacrosse Development Director; when asked about the weekend.
Special thanks to Geoff Conn for coming over and imparting your wisdom and coaching the guys over the weekend which, would not have been the success it was without your help.
Next action for the Irish Box Lacrosse Program is an exhibition game in Portadown, Co. Down in late November followed up by the draft of the National Indoor Larosse League which, begins in Early January (Look for registration soon). The
Emerald Islanders will next compete in the Lax in the Box tournament in Dresden in May of 2014.
Some photos from the weekend!