2015 saw the reintroduction of an ILL Championship Game.
The league final in University College Dublin took centre stage on Saturday, the 11th of April, with the Dublin Bay Prawns facing UCD. The final was a rematch of the close encounter earlier this season when Prawns scraped to a 5-4 victory. Both sides were at full strength for the first time this season, with the Prawns particularly boosted by the return of old faces, Arthur Cullinan and Andrew Murphy.
The college side began the stronger taking advantage of a man-up opportunity. When the Prawns defence failed to rotate, the ball was cleverly moved around to Ciaran Boylan, who squeezed the ball past Kevin Quinn in the Prawns’ goal. The Prawns responded quickly through Paul Murran before taking the lead on their man-up possession when Martin Scanlon benefited from a lucky deflection to score. Thirty one minutes would elapse before the next goal.
Despite opportunities for both sides, it looked as if the one goal margin would remain until half-time. A freak effort by Paul Murran in the final seconds of the first half caught UCD goalie, Ause Abdelhaq-Braike, off guard and gave the Prawns greater security going into the break. On reflection, that might have been the key moment in the game.
Half-time: Prawns 3 – UCD 1
The extra margin seemed to galvanise the Prawns and they continued to build on their lead in the third quarter, taking advantage particularly on fast break opportunities. Cillian Murphy got his first goal of the game only two minutes in the second half, which was followed by a great goal by Gaz Kavanagh who ghosted into the crease to finish off an accurate feed from X by Murphy. Just as the third quarter was nearing its end, the moment of the match occurred. The Prawns picked up a loose ball in their own half, broke quickly before a lovely exchange of quick passes saw Murphy add his second.
Dexter Blanc continued the trend of scoring goals at the beginning and end of quarters when he drove the ball into the UCD net, before Scanlon found Murphy cutting onto the crease, who finished well giving the Prawns an almost unassailable seven goal lead. UCD to their credit continued to battle and after a 69 minute drought registered their second through Boylan. UCD’s top scorer scored twice more in the dying the moments of the match. However, it was too little too late and the Prawns secured their first title in three years.
Final score: Prawns 8 – UCD 4
In the bronze, Galway and the Dublin Avengers played out an entertaining contest for third place. Galway were slow to start and soon found themselves down three goals. Piotr Milan, Jake Morris and Mike Kennedy were the early goalscorers for the Avengers. The second half was much more balanced and as tiredness began to set in, the play went from end-to-end. Goals from Jake Hobby Royle, Ryan Doran and a fine effort from Dylan Landy saw the Westerners narrow the gap. Continuing a series of bright spots for the Avengers in recent matches, young attackman Jake Dygas got his first goal and assist before the game concluded.Final score: Dublin 13 – Galway 9
League Winners: Dublin Prawns claimed the Richie Moran Cup
Newtownard’s Cup Winners: UCD
Defensive MVP: Aidan Marshal (Prawns)
Offensive MVP: Drew Wichmann (DLC)
Rookie of the Year: Darious Lacey (UCD)
Top Scorer: Ciaran Boylan (UCD)
2015 ILL ALL-Star Team
G – Tim Segal (Dublin Avengers)
D – Ger Harris (Prawns)
D – Gearoid Dunbar (Prawns)
D – Sean Judge (UCD)
M – Sean O’Shaughnessy (UCD)
M – Jake Morris (Dublin Avengers)
M – Martin Scanlon (Prawns)
A – Cillian Murphy (Prawns)
A – Ciaran Boylan (UCD)
A – Drew Wichmann (Dublin Avengers)
|1||•||Dublin Bay Prawns||4||4||0||16|
|4||•||Dublin Avengers LC||4||2||2||5|
|Drew Wichmann||Dublin Avengers||15||10||25|
|Cillian Murphy||Dublin Bay Prawns||16||5||21|
|Mike Kennedy||Dublin Avengers||12||3||15|
|Martin Scanlon||Dublin Bay Prawns||6||4||10|
|Jake Morris||Dublin Avengers||7||6||13|