Prawns are ILL (Mens) Champions for 2015!
ILL 2015 (Mens) Gameday #6 (Finals) Report
by Martin Scanlon, IL Clubs Committee Chairperson
UCD v Dublin Bay Prawns
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
Prawns: Cillian Murphy (3 G, 3 A), Paul Murran (2 G, 2 A), Martin Scanlon (1 G, 1 A), Gaz Kavanagh (1 G), Dexter Blanc (1 G)
UCD: Ciaran Boylan (4 G), Sean O’Shaughnessy (2 A), Eoin Parsons (1 A), David Chawke (1 A)
Man of the Match: Ger Harris
Dublin Avengers v Galway
In the opening game of the day, 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. Galway finally responded through their top goalscorer for the season, Stephen Lee Cheong. This had little effect on Dublin’s momentum who scored a further six goals prior to half-time to lead 9-2 at the break.
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. However, Dublin’s triumvirate of Kennedy, Morris and Drew Wichmann managed to keep their opponents at arm’s length. Galway finished the final quarter with a flurry and probably should have scored more than the four goals that they got. 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
Dublin Avengers: Drew Wichmann (5 G, 3 A), Jake Morris (2 G, 3 A), Mike Kennedy (3 G, 1 A), Jake Dygas (1 G, 1 A), Piotr Milan (1 G), Simon Johns (1 G)
Galway: Dylan Landy (2 G, 2 A), Ryan Doran (2 G, 1 A), Jake Hobby Royle (2 G) Ciaran Conroy (1 G, 1A) Stephen Lee Cheong (1 G), Colin Donegan (1 G)
Congratulations go out to all the teams for a very successful 2015 Irish Lacrosse League season!