Keith Mernagh, one of Ranelagh's contingent on the Irish National team, against Australia at WUGC. Photo by Danny Ryle

Irish Nationals preview: can anyone stop Ranelagh?

#IRL, An Irish Eye, IFDA, Ireland, Irish Ultimate

In his ShowGame debut, Lorcan Murray previews Irish Nationals this weekend.

Limerick, High Lady of the Shannon and the Celtic Tiger’s forgotten daughter will once again open her walls to welcome Ireland’s finest disc dancers onto her fertile fields. Though this intrusion will be borne on the opposite end of the club season to that which she is accustomed, rest assured precise execution and intense competition remain defining aspects of her Siege mentality.

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Agony and ecstasy for Ireland Men

#IRL, #MEN, #SideLinesWUGC, #wugc2016

Aidan Kelly took in a day of real mixed emotions for the Ireland Men’s team – one that began on a real high but, despite heroic performances, couldn’t quite finish that way.

It was a day of incredibly mixed emotions for Ireland’s Men’s team on Wednesday as they fought two competitive, entertaining battles against France and Australia here at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships.

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Boys in green secure their spot in power pools

#FIN, #IRL, #MEN, #SideLinesWUGC, #wugc2016

Aidan Kelly watched group D play out yesterday, where Ireland faced a tough job against strong German and Finnish sides to reach the power pools. Here’s what happened.

As the tournament hits full swing, the initial group games have finished up and shown us the meat of the competition in the form of power pool play. Pool D saw three Europeans in the form of Germany, Ireland and Finland alongside the unknown competitive entity of Egypt. On day one, Ireland made light work of the Egyptians while Finland took their game with Germany all the way in a tight game that finished 15-13 to the Germans. This set up an interesting second day where questions were raised of not only whether Ireland could topple Germany but if they would even beat Finland in the battle for contention.

IrelandAus3

#SideLinesU23 – The Lads in Green

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Josh Coxon Kelly looks at the Irish Open Squad’s start to the Under 23 Championships

Featured image courtesy of Andy Moss from Ultiphotos.com

With a landmark 11-9 victory against Australia and a decisive 17-11 win over Belgium, the championships couldn’t have started much better for the Irish Open squad. With the disc moving between hands constantly, the team was playing with enviable flow by the end of their second game, as a crisp upwind flick huck was caught in stride to end the game and the first day’s work in style. “That’s orgasmic” mutters a sideline observer. Granted, it was actually one of the Irish players who said this, but these boys can be forgiven for feeling a little proud about their achievements, even at this early stage.

After a disappointing performance at the 2013 U23 World Championships in Toronto (placing 14th), Head Coach Leo Yoshida has been able to bring back around half of the squad for another go at the world’s best young players. Players and coach alike have been hungry to prove that they could improve on their first outing, and the low player turnover has been a key factor in bringing together a squad to break out of the lower rankings and into the top eight.

Yoshida brings his experience as a player and coach from the Vancouver Ultimate scene, where he was a part of the University of British Columbia team benefitting from close ties with local Furious George players amongst others. This knowledge and experience helped organise a spike in Irish enthusiasm that came out of a tense rivalry between Cork and Trinity College teams in 2008/9. Now having had adequate training time to bring cohesion out of these rivalries, this team enjoys a fluency between Cork, Dublin and Limerick players. Assistant coach Niall Harbourne proudly describes the team as “a real all – Ireland team”.