The Northern Ireland Senior Men’s team travelled to Naas, just south of Dublin on Sunday 14th March to compete in the annual St Patricks Day internationals against Ireland. With Great Britain’s David Hamilton still playing professional Volleyball in Tenerife and NI stalwart Mark Hazley injured, Ballymoney’s Adam Hunter was called upon to make his debut for the Senior Men and he did not disappoint.
The NI junior men had already defeated the South on Saturday and it was the turn of the men to see if they could make it a double.
The first set was an epic encounter with Ireland taking an early lead leading 16-10 at the first technical time out. NI came back to level it at 24-24 but neither side were willing to give up the first set easily and Ireland eventually came out on top winning 30-28.
The first set loss seemed to jump start the NI team and they ran out comfortable 15-25 winners in the second set to tie the match.
Ireland were the first to bounce back and seemed to be more hungry for the win in the third set as they took it 25-17.
NI again were able to draw level in the match winning the fourth set 22-25 as head coach Paul Spittle injected some fire in the young team and the match was all square at two sets each and a deciding fifth set to 15 points was needed.
At 3-6 Northern Ireland’s Tom Napier went back to serve and got two points to lead 3-8 and after Ireland had a side out kill, NI were able to side out and Peter Lundy went back to serve 5 points to give NI their first match point. Ireland however were to postpone the party as they took the point to bring the score to 5-14 but with 8 match points NI took the very next opportunity to win the set and the match 2-3.
Northern Ireland Senior Men’s Team
|Adam||Hunter||Outside Hitter||Ballymoney Blaze|
|Mark||Fulton **||Setter||Ulster Elks|
|Jeffrey||Scott||Outside Hitter||Ballymoney Blaze|
|Wilson||Greenlee||Outside Hitter||Ulster Elks|
|Peter||Lundy||Outside / Opposite||Craigavon Aztecs|
Ireland Senior Men’s Team
|Christopher||Dunne||Outside Hitter||AerLingus Jets|
|Alex||Gibbons||Outside Hitter||Ballymun Patriots|
|Andrew||Goti||Outside Hitter||AerLingus Jets|
|Oisin||Mc Ardle||Middle||University College Dublin|
|Andrew||Mc Carthy||Middle||University College Cork|
|Sean||Mac Seoin||Setter||Garda VB|
|Niall||Madden||Outside Hitter||Ulster Elks|
|Brendan||O’Regan||Opposite||University College Dublin|
|David||Woods||Middle||University College Cork|
Photos from the Senior Men and Women’s matches are Copyright Lindie Naughton and are available from http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindie/sets/72157623495402643/