Sham­rocks take aim at top guns

GAME DAY: VIC­TO­RIA AT NEW WEST, 7:30 P.M.

Times Colonist - - Sports - CLEVE DHEENSAW

The Vic­to­ria Sham­rocks are the ’Tween­ers of the Western Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion. “We are in-be­tween, at the mo­ment. We’re bet­ter than the lower-level teams but per­haps not up there yet with New West­min­ster or Maple Ridge,” said Sham­rocks head coach Bob Heyes.

So there should be some teach­able mo­ments over the next two days as the Sham­rocks (3-2) face those WLA up­per class­men, be­gin­ning tonight in New West­min­ster against the Sal­monbel­lies (5-0) be­fore host­ing the Maple Ridge Bur­rards (4-1) on Fri­day on Home­com­ing Night at The Q Cen­tre.

Tonight’s game at ven­er­a­ble Queen’s Park Arena is a re­match of the 2017 WLA fi­nal, won in five games by the Sal­monbel­lies, who don’t seem to have missed a beat in be­gin­ning this sea­son un­de­feated in five games.

“Maple Ridge is loaded, as well, with the re­turn of Cur­tis Dick­son and now with all their pro play­ers back from the NLL cham­pion [Saskatchewan] Rush,” added Heyes.

“Those top two teams have made con­certed ef­forts to build for Mann Cup [na­tional Se­nior A] cham­pi­onships. Now, we might feel as other teams felt in the past when we had built those strong teams.”

The youth­ful Sham­rocks seem to be meld­ing well head­ing into the telling back-to-back set against league pow­ers.

“We’re a young team that needs to see where we’re at, so these are two re­ally good tests for us,” said Heyes. “Our young guys are com­ing along, and there’s cer­tainly no sense of awe go­ing into these two games.”

The sniper Dick­son of the Bur­rards leads the league in scor­ing with 31 points, with all-arounders Casey Jackson of Vic­to­ria and Mitch Jones of the Sal­monbel­lies tied with 30 points each. Shap­ing out the top-five are Jesse King of the Sham­rocks on 28 points and Lo­gan Schuss of the Sal­monbel­lies on 24. Dick­son is the clear goals leader with 22.

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