The final game day of the Newtownards Cup was held in Belfast on Saturday 29th November. The women’s games were held in the Queen’s University sports grounds. The DALC Ladies were scheduled to have their final two matches of the pre-season league.

Dublin V Galway

Kate Preparing for a Stick Check
Kate Preparing for a Stick Check

Unfortunately, Galway was unable to provide the minimum 7 players required to compete in a game day. This meant that they were forced to forfeit both of their matches with a 10-0 defeat. On the day they were also meant to play UCD Blue – forfeiting this game secured UCD Blue’s spot at the top of the table with a clean slate of 6 wins from 6. While we were looking forward to playing against Galway, the forfeit gave us 3 points and put us in a position where we could potentially finish second in the league. For this to happen we needed to win our second match of the day, against UCD White, with a lead of 35 goals…

Dublin V UCD White *

This was the second and final time we played against UCD White. We knew going into the match that we needed to leave with a 35 goal lead in order to overtake Galway in the league standings. In our previous match, we finished with a 21-0 victory. With only 9 players available, we had the option to borrow up to 4 players from other teams to fill up our squad and provide us with one sub.

As we had no goalie with us, Becky Maloney was our first choice. As Belfast are currently setting up their own team, this match was also an opportunity for them to play with us and so we were joined by Catherine and Brione (sorry for spellings :/) who played half the match each. Finally, we borrowed Maura and Noreen from the Galway squad. This left us with a strong team ready to attempt The 35 Goal Challenge.

Team Talk before the match
Team Talk before the match

As the game began, we started a trend of hitting the goal keeper instead of shooting around them (and actually scoring goals). This led to us introducing a Push Up Penalty for anyone that hit the goal keeper. This encouraged us to settle down around the goal and play much better attack.

Unfortunately, while we came away with a victory this time again, we didn’t succeed in the 35 lead we needed. UCD White also used the subbing system to their advantage, borrowing players such as Nadine Fadel and Aoife O’Shea who are both strong attackers.

This match saw the UCD White goalie, Ellie, suffer a severe migraine and had to be taken off the pitch. She was replaced by Katie who had a great game in goals.

The match ended 15-4. Aedeen was the top goal scorer for the match bringing in 5 goals. Other goals came from Maria Sheehy (2), Anna Bischoff (2), Evanna Murphy (2), Beata Juchniewicz (1), Aisling Casey (1), and Noreen (1). Rebecca Headon also left her famous defensive position to score a goal according to the stats…

Mixed Match

Rebecca Teaching the Team How to Line the Pitch
Rebecca Teaching the Team How to Line the Pitch

As only 2 of the 4 games could go ahead without Galway’s team, we played a mixed match at the end of the day. All the players from Dublin, UCD, Galway and Belfast were divided up into two teams so everyone would have an opportunity to play together and also to play against their teammates.  While we thought the game was simply a friendly match, with one minute to go we were informed that the score was 9-9. It’s safe to say that the last few minutes of this match became very competitive as both teams wanted to score the final goal of the season.

Player of the Game Day

The final winner for Player of the Game Day for the Newtownards Cup is….Aedeen Mageean! She was selected by her team mates for the award. Similar to the previous winner, Beata Juchniewicz, Aedeen is new to the Avengers this year and has provided us with her skill and enthusiasm for the game. Aedeen had a particularly strong day on Saturday and scored 5 of the Avengers’ goals in the match against UCD White. She also had a strong presence on the field in the mixed match at the end of the day. AedeenHere are some of the comments that her team mates had to say:

“Loads of excellent goals! And a fantastic teammate”

“She was the most active during the match, she fought for every ball to the end and of course she shoot beautiful goals, so it was nice to look at.”

“Always open and making smart passes in attack /goals”

“Very confident and determined play, particularly when going to goal.”

National Team Selection

The team that will represent Ireland at the European Championships was announced. Four members of the Dublin Avengers were selected; congratulations to Anna Bischoff, Pamela Smithwick, Rebecca Headon and Evanna Murphy. It is great to see such strong representation of the Avengers on the National Team. Also, congratulations to Nadine Fadel and Ashley DeFlumere of our rival team, UCD Blue, on also being selected to the squad. We look forward to playing on the field together for once instead of competing against each other as usual!

The team will compete in the 2015 Women’s European Lacrosse Championships in the Czech city of Nymburk. The competition will be held from the 6th-16th of August 2015. They will also play in the Home Internationals Tournament in Scotland on the 28th March. Best of luck to Team Ireland from the Dublin Avengers.

Happy Christmas

The result of the match against UCD White means that the DALC Ladies finished in 3rd place in the Newtownards Cup. Everyone played brilliantly for the duration of the season and are now ready for the well deserved Christmas break. We will be back in January motivated and ready to retain our title of champion of the Irish Women’s Lacrosse League.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the DALC Ladies 🙂

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