Week 4 of the ISSC Vancouver Spring League took place last Friday at Memorial South Park.
The action started with the conclusion of Week 3 action between the Wibblies and the Cougars. The Wibblies took a two point lead into the final seven minutes to be played. After the teams exchanged points the Cougars looked to go for goal to try and seal the win. They passed up some good point scoring opportunities in search of a goal but the Wibblies defended bravely to keep their opponents at bay. John Roche did breach the defence but missed a one on one with keeper Setanta Moran who narrowed the angle well. A Wibblies point looked to have given them their first win of the season but the Cougars didn’t give up the goal chase and were rewarded when Russy Cleere finished to the goal after good build up play. This was the last kick of the game which split the points on offer for both sides meaning that both Week 3 games ended level.
The Cougars were up straight away to open the Week 4 fixtures against the Saints. There was a lot on offer here with the winner going on to challenge for the title and the loser would be out of the title race. There was a high degree of skill on offer from both teams in a fast paced opening. Conrad Murphy was causing the Cougar defence problems at the start of the game. John Roche was winning a lot of ball for the Cougars inside but his goal scoring radar was off on this night as he missed another good goal scoring opportunity. He did contribute a lot to the Cougars cause as he was a constant source of trouble for the Saints defence, winning a lot of ball in a high energy display. Sean Quinn was also a thorn in the Saints side as he gave his usual display of point scoring with the left and set up scores for team mates. The game was nip and tuck for a large part of the first half but the Cougars started to find the net and pull away from their opponents as the half progressed, a lobbing shot of goalkeeper Barry Lambe being the highlight. At half time it was clear that score difference had entered the Cougars minds as they looked like they would win the game but to win the title would need to beat the Beast Modes score difference and hope to win out in a three way tie. They played aggressively in the second half to add to their score difference as they continued to search for and carve out goal scoring chances. Cougar and hurler Rob Dunphy looked like he may get on the score sheet as he stepped up to take a penalty but a double save from keeper Ciaran Cunningham put paid to that. The Cougars won out on a score of 6-9 to 2-9 in an all action encounter where goals where plentiful.
The second game saw the Wibblies and Stack’s face off. Thankfully this game started time, much to the relief of all but especially the Wibblies who were hoping that the lights wouldn’t fail them again. This game was another encounter where goals were plentiful. The majority of the goals were scored by the Stack’s as they put five into the net in the first half. The Wibblies did have their goal chances, two penalty misses by Tom Howlin in the first half being two examples, but credit should go to the Stack’s keeper for a fine save for the first penalty. The second penalty resulted in a point. The Wibblies had a big mountain to climb in the second half, trailing by double figures. They chipped away bravely at the lead as the Stack’s packed their defence. The Stack’s were resolute in defence, ensuring they would not give up the goals the Wibblies were seeking. Their keeper made some good saves when they were breached. At times, the Stack’s were happy to turn over the ball and kick it away and let the Wibblies come at them again. At other times, they played keep ball to wind down the clock. The Stack’s didn’t seek out many scores in the second half but on one of their rare foray’s into the attacking half they earned a penalty which was finished with conviction into the top corner of the net. The speed of Keith Revelle caused trouble all night for the Wibblies defence as he won a lot of ball, ran and attacked the Wibblies defence and was involved in all the Stack’s did well in attack. The Stack’s won out on a scoreline of 6-2 to 2-5, proving the adage that goals win games.