Ireland landed in Denver last Sunday to begin their preparation for the World Lacrosse Championships which start this Fri, 11th July. First up in their preparations was a scrimmage against a highly fancied Japan team who come into the tournament ranked 5th. With temperatures climbing into the 30’s in Denver’s high altitude, this was always going to be a test of Ireland’s conditioning as well as an opportunity to test their sharpness.
The game was nip and tuck throughout with the teams exchanging goals. Kevin Owens, Tom Burke, Mike McTernan and Brian Gillis were the standout performers with McTernan getting our nod for The Physio Company’s man of the match for his performance in a fiercely contested midfield.
Japan ran out winners by a single goal but far from being disappointed with the result, the Irish took a lot of positives from this outing against one of the top ranked outfits. Ireland continue their preparation with a warm up against Austria on Wednesday and will be looking to give run outs to more squad members as they continue acclimatising in the tough conditions in Denver.
The business end of the tournament begins with the opening match against their Yellow division opponents, Uganda, which takes place this coming Friday.