SPC Tour of Ireland – Day 9

April 1, 2016

SPC Tour of Ireland -“ Day 9

We’ve often commented on this tour how blessed and how lucky we have been with the weather. Crisp, sunny days have greeted us for most of the time and even when the heavens have opened the showers have seemed to coincide with our time in transit or under shelter. Well, today the luck of the Irish ran out.

It was wet. It was wintry. It was cold. It reminded us of home and provided typically testing conditions for today’s fourth and final match of the tour.

And under-manned, under-sized and inexperienced SPC team took to the field against a much older and bigger team from the highly-acclaimed Slaughtneil GAA Club on their home turf.

Slaughtneil has won a swag of county and district championships in recent years and we were assured they would provide one of the sterner tests of our campaign.

Yet undaunted by the physicality of their larger and older opponents, our boys played with great intent and bravery in the wild conditions.

– Our attack on the ball in the first half was ferocious and our skills with the round ball have clearly improved significantly over the duration of this tour.

In the middle (and not for the first time this tour) Joe Dodd and Aiden Domic were exemplary while the half back line featuring the likes of Nick Canny, Tom Lyons, Elliott Lamb and Connor Stone was superb, providing the composed Jack Lalor with plenty of support as he continued his excellent form as goalkeeper.

Up forward scoring opportunities were few and far between due to the conditions but the likes of Fletcher Loader, Declan Murphy, Harry Lamb and Liam Hanrahan kept plugging away to provide a target.

It was Harry Lamb who broke the deadlock late in the first half with a great over from close range.

A change was made at half time with Joe Dodd opting to have a rest and Nick Hewitt taking his place on the field. His work-rate in and under the packs was a feature in the second half as SPC started to take a stranglehold on the game. Sam Canny was tireless up forward and Jack Simpson provided good run on the flanks as Will Garner also had an impact.

A checkside over from Iggy Duke brought the crowd to their feet as the boys in the green, white and blue dominated all over the ground to keep their opponents scoreless and ensure a fantastic conclusion to the football side of the tour.

Following the match we were delighted to be treated to afternoon tea by the Slaughtneil club and our boys took the opportunity to purchase dozens of items from their merchandise store. Boys were then taken back to their host families for their final night of homestay.

Tomorrow we are back on the road again for another day of travelling to Giant’s Causeway and then on to Belfast.