Saturday, 24 July 2010

USA v CANADA Preview...

IT’s the line up that most fans predicted for the final of the FIL World Lacrosse Championships long before the first fixture took place, but this won’t make today’s game between the United States and Canada any less thrilling.

After all, the national squads comprise a who’s who of the World’s finest lacrosse players and both have already demonstrated their quality in earlier matches, breezing past their opposition.

The title of world champion has been ruled by the US and Canada for years, the US being victorious eight times and their northern neighbours taking two of the last ten titles contested to date. When the sides met in the group stages of the competition the match went down to the wire, with Canada eventually getting the win by 10 goals to 9.

Today, look out for stars such as Paul Rabil, Ned Crotty, Ryan Powell, Geoff Snider and Zack Greer seeking to dominate the game and battle for every ball.

Both teams have put on such impressive performances so far in the Championships that they have won over new fans and supporters who are bound to be glued to action.

The scene really has been set for a fantastic match and an electric atmosphere in the main stadium as Lacrosse’s elite go head to head. It is a fitting fixture that should hopefully bring what has been an incredible Championships to a special conclusion.

Round Up

France 10 Argentina 8 – Russell Atkinson, a 16-year-old who is one of the youngest players in FIL competition, smoked the Argentine defence with a 3, 4a performance in the 27/28 place game.

Austria 9 Hong Kong 8 – Hong Kong struck first, but a 5-1 run in the second quarter put the 21/22 place game firmly in Austria’s hands. Hong Kong rallied to make the game competitive and keeper Yu Kwan Tin made 20 stops, but a key insurance goal by Klaus Hauer (3g) in the fourth quarter gave Austria the win.

Korea 12 Denmark 10 – The Danish defense had no answer for Hunyoung Lee who exploded with 7 goals in the 25/26 place game.

Slovakia 12 Bermuda 7 – Team captain Martin Kramar led Slovakia to a in the 17/18 game with 2g and 2a. David Washbo also had a hat trick for the Slovakians.

Italy 13 Latvia 8 – Latvia’s Gatis Zeps put up a cracking 7g, but with a balanced attack led by Tim Fuchs (4g, 2a) gave Italy a win in the 19/20 place game.

New Zealand 23 Spain 4 – Espana just couldn’t stop Andrew Clayton (5g, 4a) in the Kiwis’ romping win in the 15/16 place game.

Czech Republic 21 Poland 3 – Nine players got on the board for the Czechs, led by Brian Hubschman (4g, 3a) and Chet Koneczny (4g, 3a) in the 13/14 place game.

Ireland 15 Sweden 8 – The Swedes rallied late, scoring five in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to catch Ireland in the 9/10 place game.

Wales 10 Finland 5 – Jamie Gallagher led the Welsh with a hat trick in the 11/12 place game.


SCOTLAND held on by the skin of their teeth to complete sneak a dramatic 11-10 victory over the Netherlands in yesterday’s 7th/8th place play-off at the University of Manchester Armitage Centre.

Convincingly beaten by England the previous evening, Scotland were looking to bounce back with a welcome win, although they were pushed a lot harder than they expected by a resilient Netherlands.

Brendan Healy top-scored for Scotland with four goals, while his brother Ian weighed in with a valuable hat-trick.

David Gill and Dan Heighway both bagged braces for Scotland as they led 4-3 after the first quarter and then 6-5 at half-time.

The Scots extended their advantage to three goals when they edged the penultimate quarter 4-2 to edge within touching distance of a credible seventh place finish.

But the Netherlands had other plans and staged a late rally.

Alex Jones impressed with five goals and Scott Janssen netted a well-taken hat-trick for the Dutch as they looked to spring a surprise.

Graham Bergsma and Kyle van Oostendorp were also on target as the Netherlands won the final quarter 3-1 and clawed back to within one goal of leveling and forcing overtime.

Scotland goalkeeper Ethan Harris starred with ten saves to keep the Dutch at bay, while Teddy van Opstal impressed for the opposition with nine saves in one of the most entertaining matches of this year’s tournament.

And so it’s down to the United States and Canada to battle it out for this year’s gold medal, while Japan and Australia clash for the bronze medal.

England and Germany play each other for the second time in this year’s tournament as they try and retain their fifth place from Ontario four years ago.

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Festival Round up 1

IT‘s been two years in the making, but it’s safe to say the FIL World Lacrosse Festival has been a huge success.

It’s the first time that a festival of this sort has ran alongside the World Championships and 48 teams from across the globe, including USA, Canada and Japan have lined up against local teams to compete in the tournament.

Clubs and touring sides have been given the opportunity to play competitive matches within their own divisions including U16’s boys, U19’s boy’s, elite, masters 35+, a grand masters 45+, a super grand masters for 55+ as well as a ladies division.

The fixtures played in the main Championships have provided much inspiration for the festival teams, making the games both competitive and exciting.

For the young teams in particular, to play at the same venue as some of their lacrosse heroes who are competing in the World championships has been a once in a life time opportunity.

For some competitors in the American U16 teams, it is the first time that they have traveled abroad, so the whole experience has been made all the more exciting by visiting Manchester.

It’s been the first opportunity in a long time that squads such as England Lions who play in the Grand Masters division, have been able to play against people of a similar age.

Danny Buckland who plays for England Lions is relishing the chance to play competitive lacrosse again, he said:

“There is a real festival spirit, a love of the game atmosphere. Everyone is so happy to be playing lacrosse, and are making the most of playing teams from all over the World.

“It’s also provided a great opportunity to meet up with people that I haven’t seen in years. It really is an opportunity of a lifetime.’

The festival has also really benefited the sport by spreading the word of Lacrosse.

For the festival Japanese team this is the first time that they have put a team together. Similarly, Lake Oswego, based in Oregon on the West Coast of the USA, is a region where lacrosse is not renowned for being popular, but 120 players turned up for trials and organisers had a hard task of whittling down the numbers.

Some teams are enjoying both the competitive and community atmosphere of the festival. The Wild Rose Brewery team haven’t done so well within their catagory but they have had a fantastic experience and made lots of new friends.

Tim Holdsworth from English Lacrosse has been planning the festival for 2 years and is deservingly happy with how the event has unfolded.

“I definitely think the festival has been a success. The teams are really happy to be here and everyone is genuinely having a good time.

“It is a small sport but the turn out has been brilliant. The ELA have some thing in the pipeline for a yearly festival, I think the teams have enjoyed it so they have the capacity to put on another.”FIL World Lacrosse Festival Finals

Yesterday’s results:

U16 Boys – Mimico 13–11 Lake Oswego

U19 Boys – Harvard Sports 7 – 8 USA West

Elite Open – USA All Stars 13–10 Gin & Juice

Ladies – Ex Pats 12–10 JNGLA

Festival roundup part 2

THURSDAY saw the concluding finals of the FIL World Lacrosse Festival as the Masters divisions took to the field.

In yesterday’s newsletter I reported on what a success the Festival had been and the Masters’ finals were no different. Two of the games went down to the wire and one was won in sudden death as each team was eager for the division title.

This was a unique opportunity for many teams to play in a Masters’ division and the players did well to compete in five games in five days.

In the Masters division England Lions narrowly lost to Oakland’s Hospital Select by 5 goals to 6. The game was somewhat of a local derby as the teams are based around Cheadle and contained English players who played together for many years.

The Grand Masters division was won by the FROGS (Florida Real Old Guys) who beat the Onatrio Masters by 9 goals to 5.

The Super Grand Masters division final ended in sudden death as Cloud splitter, originating from the East Coast of the USA beat the England Lions by 9 goals to 8.

Although the festival was played alongside the main FIL World Championships, the teams didn’t hold back. Players were keen to represent their countries and their teams.

Lenny Saia played represented the South Charlotte Old Guys who narrowly missed playing in the final of the Master’s division but has undoubtedly enjoyed the experience.

He said: “I have loved every minute of everything, but probably mostly the people. The English team couldn’t have been friendlier and the festivities outstanding. We even got Indian food last night and it was delicious!”

English Lacrosse does have something in the pipeline for a yearly festival which should be very good news to all the teams that have enjoyed participating in this year’s festival so much.

FIL World Lacrosse Festival Finals - Masters: England Lions 8 Scog 4. Grand Masters: FROGS 9 Ontario Masters 5. Super Grand Masters: England Lions 8 Cloud Splitter 9.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


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