Winning Starts for the Prawns and the Avengers
ILL 2015 (Mens) Gameday #1 Report
by Martin Scanlon, IL Clubs Committee Chairperson
Galway v Dublin Bay Prawns
The 2015 Irish Lacrosse League kicked off with a bang in Galway on Saturday, the 31st January, with an enthralling encounter between Galway and the Dublin Bay Prawns.
The home team, boosted by the return of long servant, Ryan Doran, darted out of the traps and quickly established a two goal lead with goals by Doran and Daniel Hynes. The second goal by the westerners seemed to awaken a Prawns side missing many familiar faces, who managed to tie the game at 2 goals apiece at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Doran and Cillian Murphy (Prawns) traded goals. Doran scored some gritty individual efforts, including a spectacular behind the back effort past Prawns’ stand-in goalie, Paul Murran. At the other end of the field, Murphy was assisted by Dexter Blanc, in a man-up situation, and Gareth Kavanagh, leaving the score at half-time: Galway 5 Prawns 4.
The Prawns finally took the lead for the first time early in the third quarter with clever interplay between Murphy and Martin Scanlon. The Galway side weren’t going to be shaken easily though and Stephen Lee-Cheong equalised again following a ground ball mix-up by the Prawns near their own goal.
The greater experience of some of the Prawns shone through in the final quarter though. Scanlon scored two almost solo efforts, driving down the right hand side of the field and placing the ball beyond the reach of Galway goalie, Danny Jones. With a two-goal lead for the first time in the game, the Prawns seemed more composed and held onto the ball well, eating up chunks of the clock. During this period, the lead was further increased by an unlucky deflection off the head of a Galway defender. The Galway side battled valiantly until the end, with a goal by Jake Hobby Royle, decreasing the margin but ultimately proving insufficient.
The Galway side can take solace from the quality of their play, both offensively and defensively, and can be expected to take a scalp or two in the coming gamedays. The Prawns side will look to build on their stronger showing in the second half and will be further boosted by the imminent return of some of their longer serving players.
Final score: Dublin Bay Prawns 9 – Galway 7
Prawns: Cillian Murphy (7 G), Martin Scanlon (2 G, 3 A), Dexter Blanc (1 A), Gareth Kavanagh (1 A)
Galway: Ryan Doran (4 G, 1 A), Daniel Hynes (1 G), Steven Cheong (1 G), Jake Hobby Royle (1 G)
Dublin Avengers v Queen’s University Belfast
The second match-up of the day saw the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) side make their return to the league after a gap of a few years. However, the Dublin Avengers were in no mood to give their opponents a gentle re-introduction to the Irish lacrosse scene.
The scoring started early for the Avengers with James Nolan scoring their first goal of the season. This started an avalanche of goals for the Dublin side, with Jake Morris, Drew Wichmann and Mike Kennedy all adding their names to the scoresheet in the first quarter. Morris got his second at the beginning of the second quarter before the Belfast side finally opened their account, with a goal by Chris Clarkson. This only seemed to further motivate the Dublin outfit, who would not concede for the remainder of the game. By half time, they led 10 -1.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with the quartet of Nolan, Wichmann, Morris and Kennedy again amongst the goals. The QUB team however began to have more offensive success themselves, creating a number of opportunities. JJ Tabios in particular was denied on numerous occasions by Dublin goalie, Tim Segal. They also had a much greater share of the possession with their captain, Paul Douglas, being successful at the face-off X.
Dublin now have a bye week, before returning to league action at the end of February, with a match-up against the Prawns. Next up for QUB is a game against Galway on the 14th February.
Final score: Dublin Avengers 18 – QUB 1
Avengers: Drew Wichmann (6 G, 7A), Jake Morris (4 G, 3A), Mike Kennedy (4 G, 2 A), James Nolan (4 G, 2 A)
Queens: Chris Clarkson (1 G)