Ireland making big impression at Special Olympics Winter Games

Ireland Floorballers round off day with 4-4 draw with Argentina in Graz, Austria

 

Team Ireland’s Floorballers put in big performances on Monday in the group stages of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

Ireland Team 2 rounded off the day with a 4-4 nail-biter against Argentina in Graz. The South Americans salvaged a draw with two late goals, but Ireland coach Michael Lynch had nothing but praise for his side.

“That was their best performance of the day,” he said. “These guys are all new to the game. They are improving and have taken away huge experience from this.”

Team Ireland’s Richard Moran, from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and Lorcan Byrne, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, are comforted by coach Michael Lynch after a 4-3 defeat to Germany. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Team Ireland’s Richard Moran, from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and Lorcan Byrne, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, are comforted by coach Michael Lynch after a 4-3 defeat to Germany. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Earlier in the day, Lorcan Byrne netted a hat trick to defeat to hosts Austria.

Team Ireland Floorball captain, Thomas Caulfield, from Dublin said: “I just want to thank the managers, Michael, Mark and Michael again, and all the Irish fans and Irish Special Olympics athletes for helping us all the way.”

Team 1 had an encouraging day in the competition’s top division. They pushed Switzerland all the way in their second game with Clive Healy (Co Waterford) to the fore.

Left to right: Maria Brien, Anthony Healy, Anita Quinlan, Antoinette Healy, Margaret Upton and Kay Bloomfield, from Passage and Waterford city show their support at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Messe Graz Center, Graz, Austria. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Left to right: Maria Brien, Anthony Healy, Anita Quinlan, Antoinette Healy, Margaret Upton and Kay Bloomfield, from Passage and Waterford city show their support at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Messe Graz Center, Graz, Austria. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

The skiers were in action on the competition slopes for the first time in Schladming. Six athletes came safely through their divisional rounds.

Caolan McConville (Co Antrim), Lorraine Whelan (Co Wicklow) and Seán McCartan (Co Down) took on the intermediate slope at 1,138m altitude. Meanwhile, Cyril Walker (Co Armagh), Laoise Kenny (Dublin) and Niall Flynn (Dublin) skied at novice level on Slope Schwaigerhof.

The Giant Slalom finals take place on Tuesday morning.

Team Ireland’s Alphine Skiing Team

Intermediate – Seán McCartan (Antrim), Lorraine Whelan (Wicklow). Novice – Caolan McConville (Armagh), Cyril Walker (Armagh), Niall Flynn (Dublin), Laoise Kenny (Dublin).

1Team Ireland’s Patrick Tunstead, a member of Estuary Centre Special Olympics Club, from Julianstwon, Co Meath, in action against Michael Moik, Austria. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
1Team Ireland’s Patrick Tunstead, a member of Estuary Centre Special Olympics Club, from Julianstwon, Co Meath, in action against Michael Moik, Austria. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Team Ireland’s Floorball Teams

Team 1 - Joseph McCarthy (Cork), Brian McDonnell (Cork), Thomas O’Herlihy (Cork), Roy Saville (Cork), Lee Ryan Byrne (Dublin), Michael Minogue (Limerick), George Fitzgerald (Waterford), Clive Healy (Waterford), William McGrath (Waterford), James Upton (Waterford).

Team 2 - James Healy (Cork), Richard Moran (Cork), Lorcan Byrne (Dublin), Thomas Caulfield (Dublin), Matthew Colgan (Dublin), Stephen Lee (Dublin), Anthony Murray (Dublin), Raymond McClearn (Galway), John Paul Shaw (Longford), Patrick Tunstead (Meath).