Ireland Overcomes Sweden’s Early Lead and Secures Ninth Place at the
FIL World Championships
July 23, 2010
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Sweden jumped out to two early leads in today’s 9th/10th place playoff game at the the FIL World Championships, but Ireland responded by playing the same way it has since the Tournament began and earned the higher finish with a 15-8 win. Relentless offense and rock solid defense led to another Irish win, and are the reasons Ireland outscored its seven opponents by 67 goals at the Championships.
In what may be a first for Ireland in international competition, every attackman and midfielder on the Irish roster scored goals during the eight day competition, and the defensemen and goalies stepped up to preserve the big leads the offense kept getting.
After Sweden scored in the opening minute and John Ryan tied the score for Ireland, Sweden scored to take the lead a second time, but it would be a very long time before they found the net again. Perhaps frustrated by Ireland’s excellent ball control skills, Sweden began taking penalties, and Ireland scored in three straight manup situations.
By the time the second quarter ended, Ireland had scored eight goals in a row and held its opponents off the scoreboard for more than 32 minutes and led 9-2. International games play 20 minute running time quarters.
Ireland’s defense continued its excellent play in the third quarter, killing off an early manup chance for Sweden, and generally forcing the Swedish attack to take shots that missed the goal. When they did get a shot on the net, Ireland goalie Connor Sweeney made the save, and the score was 13-3 when the final quarter began.
Kevin Owens led Ireland with four goals including Ireland’s seventh score after he won a faceoff, ran straight to the goal and shot. Ryan had three, and Matt Walsh, Kris Prior and Brian Gillis had two each. Tom Riley added another goal for Ireland, and Paddy O’Leary, who started Ireland’s scoring with the first goal in the first game of the Tournament, closed out Ireland’s win with the final score against Sweden. It was Ireland’s 113th goal of the Championships.
“We have a very happy group here” said Ireland National Team Director John Cavanaugh after the game. “They are a special group, a team with great character, and they played together on the field and worked together off the field. This was a great trip, and it’s great for our younger players to be part of this experience for the first time.”
Team Ireland will remain in Manchester to watch the U.S. and Canada play for Tournament Championship on Saturday before leaving on Sunday morning.
Ireland Returns to Action With A Decisive Win Over Finland.
Will Face Off With Sweden Friday for Ninth Place at the FIL World Championships
July 22, 2010
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Returning to the field after a day off, Ireland ran past the Finland team that
had won five of six games before today for a 17-6 win. The victory brings Ireland, the Tournament’s Orange
Division winner, to five wins and one loss, and sets up a rematch with Sweden on Friday afternoon with the
winner capturing 9th place among the FIL World Championship’s 29 participating teams.
Kris Prior scored the game’s first goal starting Ireland on the way to a 10-1 halftime lead. “Our defense played
super,” said Ireland Team Director John Cavanaugh, “they made a fabulous effort.” Connor Sweeney started in goal for Ireland, and Kevin Quinn took over between the pipes in the fourth quarter.
Matt Walsh led Ireland scoring with six goals, Prior had four, and Sean Gibson and Brian Gillis each had two.
Paddy O’Leary, Kevin Owens and John Ryan also scored for Ireland as the Team continued to show it has many players capable of beating opposing defenses and goalies.
Sweden enters Friday’s game with a record of 4 – 2. Though they lost to Red Division winner, the Czech
Republic, 9-6, on 18 July, they defeated the Czechs, 15-8, two days later. In between those games,
on 19 July, they lost to Ireland, 12-7