A hard but necessary couple of games to prepare us for the Bulls upcoming season
The day was warm but wet, the worst conditions for sport court, normally under these conditions condensation is an issue. The Midland Jokers managed this well and made sure all teams had a playable surface when they arrived from their respective Counties. With two games scheduled back to back against fresh teams, the Mayo Bulls had a hard day ahead of them.
Clovers - 10am
Clovers brought numbers if nothing else, boasting a 10 man roster they looked to push the pace throughout proving to be too much for the 7 player bench of the Bulls. With many Bulls players diving into competitive senior action against a team of more experienced players, they conceded heavily in the first period allowing 4 goals before standing their ground in the second for a moral win before #16 Niamh Reilly put the puck in the back of the net with less than a minute to go ending this period with one a piece. This stole the Clovers goalies chance at a shutout and marked the players first goal in senior competition as well as the Bulls first and only goal to start their season. The Clovers are great friends of the club and we thoroughly enjoyed this game and look forward to being pushed to our limits again when we meet this season in League 2.
Niamh's goal was far more than just a point on the board to herself and everyone on
the team, and for this she will take the honor of MVP for this game.
MVP - #16 Niamh Reilly
Goals - #16 Niamh Reilly x1
Stars - 11:20am
The Stars were always going to be a difficult game, made only harder by the fact we played just 20 minutes before puck drop. Everyone dug deep and found energy and mental toughness they never knew possible. A difficult game but with some success in terms of scoring and offence as we broke into their zone but could not find the finishes needed to get on the board more. The Stars played a physical game and worked from the back well moving with the puck up the rink, team work was obvious and helped them string great passing in front of the Bulls net resulting in some nice goals and scoring opportunities. Bulls netminder #31 James Osborne did well stuffing 1v1 and 2v1 goals, with Bulls defenders tired, James really showed up when it mattered keeping a positive attitude throughout. The rest periods were luck of the draw on this game day and we look forward to playing this team like for like in the future. The victory is theirs and we wish them the best of luck in the North Division od League 2.
Notable performances from #86 Elie Bassaler who displayed good puck protection and matched Armagh's physicality throughout breaking in to the attacking zone unlucky not to score. #12 Laura Dunne and #22 Linards Bartusevics fought fatigue and left it all out there, pushing through till the end. #16 Niamh Reilly picked up 2 assists adding to her goal and making a 3 point day for the youngest member present. The stand out performance came from #90 Rachel Shawe (now Bassaler) who displayed outstanding cardio, not to say she didn't push that to its limit as she produced a brilliant all heart assist picking up her first point of the season.
Rachel went shoulder to shoulder with everyone and made it difficult for them to keep the puck, going into the boards with no quit (or concern for personal safety), delivering an outstanding assist and turning over pucks throughout makes her our MVP for this game.
MVP - #90 Rachel Shawe
Goals - #13 PJ Cunningham x3
Assists - #16 Niamh Reilly x2, #90 Rachel Shawe x1
See Results, Fixtures, Game Reports and Stats at www.inlinehockeyireland.org
Next Games in Cork where we kick off our League 2 campaign, Sunday 13th November