Ireland Tour 2024: SPC v Sligo Academy Match Report

April 7, 2024

By Jason Lappin, 1st XVIII Coach

On Tuesday 2 April, our Aussie boys faced off against the North Eastern Irish County of Sligo. Both teams fielded a lot of players which meant for high rotations to give everyone a run. The Paddy boys started on fire and served it up to the Irish boys. The Aussie boys had improved dramatically from the first game, and actually beat the Irish lads at their own game with fast ball movement and overlap run from defence cutting a swathe through the Irishmen!

Unlike the previous game where we wasted opportunities in the first quarter, we took advantage and kicked 5 goals to one – our best quarter of the trip.

Our gun small forwards Cody Salmon and Lachie Pritchard were destroying the Irish with their leg speed standing out. Both boys hit the scoreboard early. To complement the smalls, we had tall Hamish McNamara who was easily the best key forward on the ground. His effort defensively caused many Irish turnovers, giving us opportunities to score.

In defence the likes of Paddy O’Brien, Baxter Horsborough, Noah Buttler and Hunter Vansomeren were playing their hearts out and defending impressively, forcing turnover after turnover. In the second quarter we found it more difficult to score and the game was played in the middle of the ground with both teams turning the ball over by foot.

SPC improved its defence from the first game, and we managed to stop them scoring a single goal. Unfortunately, our scoring also dried up – we only kicked the one major and one minor. In the second half we played a whole new side to give the rest of the squad some game time.

The third quarter started the same way the game started with the Paddy boys challenging the defence of the young Irish lads. Archie Todd, Eli Holloway, Kade Hilton and Hunter Knight were pressuring the Irishmen relentlessly, forcing turnover after turnover to give our forwards a chance. Tall forwards Deacon Towk and Brendan Monohan were complemented by very active smalls Will Palmer and Max Kinniburgh.

Jack Cleary’s skill with the round ball really stood out as he was able to hit targets and push the ball forward better than any player on the field. James Parkinson Billy Twaits, Hunter Knight and Cooper Battye were resolute in defence and the Irish barely scored in the second half.

We didn’t take our opportunities as well in the second half, but we had established enough of a lead to win the contest comfortably. After the game boys from both teams embraced in a show of joyous merriment that was warming to the heart of all the parents and staff that attended the game.   


Best Players: (First half) Hamish McNamara, Cody Salmon, Lachie Martin, Lachie Pritchard, 

Angus Rothe and Noah Buttler. (Second half) Zac Evans, Toby Dixon, Max Kinniburgh, Kade Hilton, Noah Quick and Hunter Knight