As we have already kicked off the 2014 National Indoor Lacrosse League we now turn our heads to the opening weekend of the 2014 Men’s Irish Lacrosse League. This weekend all games will be played at St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra and will be watched closely by National Team Coach Tom Prior and National Team Director John Cavanaugh.
UCD vs NUIG Saturday 25th at 10:00am
Last year’s champions UCD, open the defense of their title against NUIG Galway. UCD had a strong preseason claiming the 2013 Dublin Cup and 2014 Newtownard’s Cup titles let by a number of standouts from Mount St. Mary’s. However, UCD enters this season both without their preseason standouts who have returned to the USA and a number of graduated seniors from the 2012 and 2013 ILL championship teams but, will still be among the top contenders for the 2014 crown. UCD will need to rely on Sean O’Shawnessy, Ciarán Boylan, and lefty sensation Andrew Murphy to provide offensive leadership. Eoin Parsons will be the fulcrum of the UCD back line and will need to provide experience and knowledge to a young UCD defense.
Galway by contrast has been slowly growing out on the west coast. Galway will once again be lead by their hardworking and tireless Ryan Doran, the club’s all time top scorer. The recent addition of the experienced Tim Segal in the cage see’ s Galway with a very solid and capable first choice goalie. The return of Jake Royle from Hong Kong will provide needed depth in the midfield. This season see’s the NUIG crew poised to cause a few upsets.
Avengers vs Prawns, Saturday 25th at 12:30pm
These two teams have had some fierce battles over the passed few seasons and expect this opening game to be more of the same from the two senior Dublin clubs. The Prawns will sorely miss the scoring prowess of Padraig O’Leary who has moved to the USA. They will be looking to the likes of international’s Paul Murran and Martin Scanlon along with veteran attackman Mark Colgan to lead the team on the offensive side. Irish International’s Conor Walsh and Kevin Quinn look to anchor a strong Prawns back line.
The Avengers seem to have come out of the duldrums of the ILL and recent days the Avengers have assembled a solid squad. Calvin Craig looks to make an impression in his first season with the Dublin Club joining a potent attack which had last years leading scorer and 2013 MVP James Hearn and top point getter Sean Gibson. They will be joined by UCD graduates Conor O’Brien, James Nolan, and Richard Blanc along with Dublin stalwarts Tony Devine and Michael Kennedy. On the defensive end Irish international Patrick Ferry and UCD grad Ger Harris lead a solid defensive unit which is capable of mixing it with anyone. Dublin’s goalie is Danny Jones who is taking the reigns after graduating from UCD and posting back to back championship seasons.
This should be an exciting weekend in the ILL and we’re looking forward to the season kicking off in style. If your around come and check out the action at St Patrick’s College on Drumcondra Road this Saturday!
News and Notes
The Dublin Avengers’ Sean Gibson is poised to become the first ever player in ILL player to break the 100 point mark should he register a goal or an assist on Saturday. Here is a list of the ILL’s All-Time Statistics.