By Ciarán Boylan, NILL Commissioner
This week’s NILL games saw some heated defensive half court battles, with the Darkside’s unbeaten record being finally broken and Stormtroopers and Thunder beginning to close the gap on the leaderboard.
Thunder continued on their high note from their games on the 20th, jumping to an early lead with Tadhg Bolger and Jake Morris both finding the back of the net a number of times. Mike Kennedy was able to keep Troopers in the game, netting two to cut away at Thunder’s 4 goal lead. Troopers clocked in the second half however, with Ciarán Boylan netting two quick goals in response to a tally from Morris immediately after the half. The momentum of the late come back for Troopers continued, with Bonagee Scanlon scoring from a feed from Boylan with just over a minute left to make it a tie game at 5-5. Bolger won the face quickly, but unfortunately a strong defensive effort from Troopers left Thunder unable to capitalise, ending the game with a draw.
The second game was a low scoring affair between Stormtroopers and Darkside. The Troopers were yet to beat Darkside, and so were keen to knock them off their winning streak. Stellar play from Colm “The Wall” Murphy left both offences stumped, with a 1-1 score line at the half. A penalty midway through the second half for Troopers saw Darkside with a chance to take the lead. An impressive feed from NILL rookie Fiachra on the penalty kill to Mike “Trust me, I still got it” Kennedy led to a shorthand goal for a Troopers’ lead. Smart play by the Troopers kept possession away from the Darkside’s talented offence to ensure the win, dealing the Darkside their first loss of the season.
Thunder, still keen to rise up from the bottom of the score board came out swinging in their second game of the evening against the Darkside. Morris and Bolger continued their big nights scoring 5 goals between them, showing versatility from distance and on the doorstep. Darkside were able to retain face with tallies from Drew Wichmann and James Nolan, leaving the game with a 6-2 score line in favour of Thunder.
The scoreboard currently stands at:
Individual player stats can be found here:
Join us next Tuesday February 4th in Loughlinstown for the 4th instalment of this year’s NILL!