The second game day of the IWLL took place on Valentine’s Day in UCD. There was nice weather for the day and a great atmosphere between the teams. Dublin had a strong team for the day with a full team and four subs. To start the day off well and to get everyone in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, all the players received a little Valentines gift. Kate also started something dangerous by bringing brownies to the game; they are not game day jellies, but something AMAZING!
The game day also gave players opportunities to try out new roles such as refereeing and taking stats. Amy Clarkin even came along to support and was spotted giving some tips to stand in goalie Kate. It’s wonderful to see that just because she can’t kit up doesn’t mean she isn’t part of the team! The organisation of the day was fantastic and the first game day to go to schedule – let’s hope we can keep that up!
Dublin V UCD Blue
The game day kicked off with the first match between Dublin and UCD Blue. As expected this was a tough, intense match but we played really well as a team and had great transitional play. There was a huge improvement in the team’s atmosphere.
Kate scored the first goal of the match. Unfortunately, she was our goal keeper so the goal wasn’t ideal but at least we put the first score on the board. Throughout the game everyone was very engaged. Having a squad of twelve players was a huge advantage as it allowed players to sub continuously and maintain energy. The first half of the game was great. We relaxed, settled the ball, took really good shots, and enjoyed ourselves. There were lots of quick turn overs from both teams and sometimes little time to set up the game well. Evanna made some great stick checks that completely reversed the play and brought possession back over to the Avengers.
Although we tried to alleviate the tension between Dublin and UCD 1 (thanks captain Evanna) there was still some residual heat at the beginning of the game. This lead to a feisty and majorly foul heavy game. Dublin deserved the 2 yellow cards but to hold the opposition to a 2 goal difference during that 4 minutes of man down play was nothing short of a miracle! #silverlining.
Aisling ensured that there was a good atmosphere on the team and everyone was having a good time. She made one particular comment which stuck with the players though; as a team we play better when our spirits are high, and although we prefer to win we have to learn to like the defeat when we have played our best. While we didn’t necessarily play our best in this game, there was a marked improvement from last time out. They won this battle, but the war is far from over!
Goals in this game were scored by Aisling (1), Aoife (1) and Evanna (1).
While we were all disappointed to come away without the win, this game showed a huge improvement from when we last played UCD Blue. The previous match between Dublin and UCD Blue two weeks ago saw us lose 7-1. To change this to 4-3 (excluding our own goal) shows the impact a good attitude and full squad can have. Bring on our next match so we can come away with a victory!
Dublin V Galway
Our second match of the day was against Galway which is always a great match for friendly competition. This was a brilliant game which really tested the two teams. It highlighted the level of competition in the league. Skills levels varied between individual players, but everyone got involved and it was a super fun game.
We were pretty pumped following a ‘scream run’ to intimidate the Galway girls so entered the game with heads held high and enthusiasm to match. As usual the competition was friendly between the teams, but fierce. A big shout out to Pamela for successfully stopping the power of Galway player Lindsay with her draw control. This is something that has really crippled us in the past. With the pitch being so short it is imperative that we gain possession immediately. It is only a short run for a fast break after all! Anna had great ball possession and contributed well to both games in midfield.
We worked as a team for the entire game, making sure to use all the legs available. Another positive to take away from the day was the fight for the ground ball at the end. We successfully denied the final shot on goal even though they were right there in the fan. The crashing was epic and although Rebecca sustained a blow to her special place (#ouch) it was totally worth it!! She also managed to back check Alex Kenney so had a successful match all round!
Susan was always there with the slide and was never afraid of her opponent, regardless of the height difference! She may be small, but she is mighty! Joined by Laura and Rebecca in defence they are a tough combination to beat. Goals were scored by Anna (2), Beata (2), Pamela (1), Maria (1) and Aoife (1).
As always this was a very enjoyable match and we had a blast playing it. It was great to come away with a draw as in our last match against Galway we lost 9-6. Similar to the UCD Blue game, this week’s score reflected an improvement and gives us the motivation to work that little bit harder so we can win in the next match!
Player of the Game Day
The player of the game day as always was voted by her teammates. The winner of the Prawn’s Game Day is…. Kate Gaitley! Kate joined the Avengers in September and, like all our new members, has been a brilliant addition to the team. After playing fantastically in her debut as a goalie against UCD Blue in Galway, Kate returned to the goals for both matches this game day. She was excellent in goals and even scored the first goal of the day! With our previous goalie (Amy) out due to injury, it makes a huge difference to the team when players are willing to kit-up and play in goals and it is very much appreciated.
Here are some comments that her team mates had to say:
“She was a trooper in the goal”
“An amazing goalie”
“Kate was fantastic in goals and it made a huge difference to the results of the day. Brilliant goal to start the day off!”
The atmosphere between all the players on the team is fantastic. We had our first team dinner on the 7th of February and this really helped everyone bond and improve the team spirit. Also, our team dancing during half time in the Galway match was great for giving everyone the right attitude for the end of the game! This game day really highlighted the importance of having good numbers both at training and at matches. Hopefully we will be able to get good numbers for our next matches in Galway on the 28th February and come away with victories (touch Woods)!
[tb_results comp=”28″ season=”30″ venue=”27″ linktext=”View all results” title=”Results”]