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Saturday 3 December 2016

Water Polo: Lawlor's five goals put 'Rock in seventh heaven

Blackrock skipper Ben Lawlor
Blackrock skipper Ben Lawlor

BLACKROCK COLLEGE claimed a stunning seven-in-row winning feat at yesterday’s O’Brien Trophy held at the Deaf Village Ireland Sports Centre in Cabra, Dublin.

With coach Kevin ‘Lucky’ Healy at the helm, ’Rock overcame a gallant Mount Temple side 11-6 in the final after coming through the round-robin tournament unbeaten.

It was also fitting that Ben Lawlor, who scored five goals in the final, should captain the team following in the footsteps of his older brothers Harry and Seán, who had previously captained ’Rock’s water polo teams.

’Rock’s opponents Mount Temple who had reached their first final, a wonderful achievement in only their second appearance in the tournament, faced a tough uphill battle to dethrone the holders.

Goals from Lawlor and Stephen O’Hurley halved Temple’s plus four goal advantage they had going into the final before Fiach Beechinor opened the scoring for Mount Temple.

Further goals from ’Rock’s Matthew Sheedy and an excellent brace from Max Connolly in the second quarter levelled the final at 5-5.  Beechinor, who was awarded the Most Valuable Player for his skilful play throughout the competition, gave Temple the lead with a super back flip on the stroke of half-time.

Midway into the third quarter, Lawlor completed his hat-trick with two goals inside two minutes to restore ’Rock’s one-goal advantage going into the final quarter.

Temple had a couple of chances from Beechinor and their captain Shane O’Brien to equalise before ’Rock’s fitness and quality came to the fore with clinical finishes from Lawlor, Sheedy and Louis Hoffman.

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