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Smal plays big a part in 'Rock victory

THE senior league final, featuring Marian College and Blackrock College, was held at the National Aquatic Centre last Monday night.

Both teams started the match at a very fast tempo. Marian were first to score with their Italian Federico Gallo scoring with a back flip. Blackrock countered with scores from from Dean Smal (two) and Harry Lawlor.

Gallo hit back with a fine score for Marian, but Blackrock kept up the pressure and were rewarded with scores from Ben Lawlor and Mark Sheedy. At the end of the first quarter, Blackrock led 5-2. 'Rock went on to consolidate their lead and move up another gear in the second period.

Their tactics of double-marking Marian's main threat, Gallo, left very few options for the Marian team.

Goals from Smal (two) and Matthew Sheedy (one) further increased the lead. Marian did manage to pull a couple back with a fine goal from Gallo and one from Imre Dosa. Blackrock finished the quarter leading 8-4.

The third quarter saw Marian come into the game. Fine goals from Gallo (two) and Mehdi Lamrini (one) helped them claw back the lead. But Blackrock were not to be out-done and they added three scores from Smal, Cathal Dunne and Ben Lawlor left them with a four-goal lead at the end of the third quarter (11-7).

The last quarter was all Blackrock with goals from Smal (two), Ben Lawlor (two), Vinog Leavy (two), Harry Lawlor (one) and Stephen Herlihy (one).

Blackrock's Dean Smal was the top-scorer with seven goals. The match ended in a 19-7 win for Blackrock.

Blackrock: J O'Donnell, P Walsh (captain), S Herlihy, C Dunne, D Smal, B Lawlor, V Leavy, M Sheedy, H Lawlor, S Duff, A Cullen, A Ryan, K Healy (coach).

Marian College: A Lee, F Gallo, A Tallant, R Neville, C Farrelly, M Hughes (captain), I Dosa, M Lambrini, J Forsythe, D Kasperiki, E Hafdallah, S Byrne, D Dunne (coach), A Murphy (manager).

Referees: S O'Brien and D McLoughlin.