World U23 Ultimate Championships Report – Day Four

U23 Open Team

Today got off to a rather disappointing start when the lads took on old rivals GB. The game started well with both teams trading points, Ireland showing some lovely, patient offence. GB however, stepped up the intensity and took half with a score of 9-7. After halftime the lads came back fighting but unfortunately it was just not enough. The team were suffering the loss of UCC players Matthew Feely and Matthew Staunton to injury and the Brits managed to break away scoring five consecutive points. The game finished with a final score of 14-7 to Great Britain.

Next up was the quarter final against Canada, a team who had previously gone undefeated for the entire tournament. The lads knew that this was going to be a tough match, even more so because they were now missing some integral players. The game started well for Ireland with Ben Noonan finding Stephen Jones in the end zone for the first score. After this, the lads played some great defence but found it increasingly difficult to shut down the Canadian offence as the team began to gather momentum. Canada took half with a score of 8-1. Undaunted by the scoreline the lads kept their heads up and managed to knock in a few lovely scores. Special mention to our own David Forde who got a spectacular foot block and then caught a score making it 14-6 to Canada. Despite their best efforts the lads were unable to bridge the gap in the score and the game finished 17-9 to Canada.

Regardless of the result, it was a huge achievement for this team to reach the quarter final stage of the tournament. Initially seeded just 12th the team have really showed that they are a force to be reckoned and have showed just how high the standard of ultimate has become in Ireland. Tomorrow the team will battle it out for 5th place, their first game, once again, against Austria. We wish them the very best of luck!

 

Mixed Team

Today was a great day for the mixed team as they managed to put an end to their losing streak with two consecutive wins over the Philippines and Colombia.

Their first game of the day was against the Philippines and this got off to a great start. Ireland took an early lead of 7-0 after just 30 minutes. It seems like the team have really come together in the past few days and that was clearly evident by the patient and clinical offence they displayed early on in the game. Forcing the Philippines to call a timeout, Ireland came back with an intense zone which proved too much for the Philippine offence. Ireland took half with a score of 8-1. After starting back on defence Ireland got an early turn, Lesley Fitzpatrick assisting to UCC’s Edel Cormac for the score making it 10-1. The team then kept up their momentum to the very end and the game finished with a scoreline of 16-9 to Ireland.

Hungry for another win, the mixed team then faced Colombia. This game also got off to a great start once again, Ireland taking an early lead of 4-1. The wind then began to pick up which worked in the Irish teams favour and further rattled the Colombians. The score at half time was 9-6 to Ireland. With that Irish starting back on D the Colombians came back fighting and scored their first offensive point to make it 9-7. Ireland really stepped up their game after this and displayed some lovely, clinical offence. The teams began trading points but the Colombians were unable to catch back up to the Irish team and the game finished with a final score of 15-11 to Ireland. Another great win and a great end to the day!

Tomorrow at 9:30 the mixed team will take on The Philippines once again. We wish them the very best of luck and we hope that they can continue their winning streak!

 

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Emma Healy