Ireland Lose Narrowly To World Number 2

Vitality Hockey World Cup, London

Ireland 0

England 1(Ansley)

Ireland fall 1-0 to world number 2 England despite superb defensive effort throughout.

England certainly edged the possession stats in the opening exchanges and it was their captain Alex Danson that drew the first save of the game but Ayeisha McFerran continued her fine form and booted the ball clear. Ali Meeke and Nicci Daly combined well at the other end for the latter of the two to send a pass across the circle but there was nobody on the back post for the tap in. England won 3 penalty corners in the opening quarter but Yvonne O’Byrne put huge pressure on Laura Unsworth at the top of the circle to prevent her efforts. Likewise Shirley McCay made a phenomenal diving deflection to send Ellie Watton’s close range shot wide. O’Byrne was also the creator of a chance for the Green Army but Deirdre Duke couldn’t slip her marker for the shot. Similarly McCay charged out of defence on more than occasion and forced Maddie Hinch into a save as Katie Mullan lingered at the post. The half ended with England notching up 13 circle entries but the discipline and structure of the Green Army defence limited the clear cut chances.

McFerran was called upon to make yet another great save as Sarah Haycroft poached the ball in the circle but she made the double save and cleared with her stick. Megan Frazer reminded everyone of her enviable skills as she left 2 defenders in her wake and fired the shot goalward only for it to be deflected wide. The Green Army won 3 penalty corner’s in quick succession with the final one being saved by Hinch. England continued to rack up their own penalty corners, amassing 15 in total, and they broke the deadlock in the 53rdminute courtesy of Giselle Ansley’s drag flick that was deflected into the net. The Green Army very nearly had an equaliser in the dying moments as Anna O’Flanagan sent the ball into the circle but Duke couldn’t get the vital touch.

Regardless of the result, Ireland still sit top of Pool B and progress to the quarter finals on Thursday where they will play either India or Italy.

Commenting on the result, head coach Graham Shaw said “I cannot fault our players, I’m very proud of their effort. We need to learn from moments and phases in the game, but it’s a different atmosphere and environment than we’ve ever played in before, and I thought our players reacted superbly. From the very first minute they worked incredibly hard and stayed compact”.

Starting: N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, G Pinder, R Upton, A McFerran, C Watkins, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, E Tice, N Daly, D Duke, A Meeke

Ireland’s Pool B Vitality Hockey World Cup Fixtures:

Ireland 3vs1 USA 21/7/18 6pm

Ireland 1vs0 India 26/7/18 2pm

Ireland 0vs1 England 29/7/18 7pm

Quarter Final Ireland vs India or Italy 2/8/18 8:15pm

Green Army Secure Place In World Cup Quarter Final

Vitality Hockey World Cup, London

Ireland 1 (O’Flanagan)

India 0

The Green Army have beaten world number 10 India to book their place in the World Cup quarter final!

There was very little to separate the two sides for periods of the first half with possession sitting at 50/50 for much of the opening 30 minutes. India got off to the more lively start with a penalty corner in the 4thminute but superb running and a clearance by Hannah Matthews kept the 0-0 scoreline preserved. The Green Army settled quickly and were content to pass around the back and wait for the space to open up. That space did eventually open and Katie Mullan and Anna O’Flanagan linked up in the circle to win a penalty corner of their own. Shirley McCay stepped up for one of her powerful sweeps from the top of the circle and O’Flanagan deflected it into the net for the lead. Ayeisha McFerran was in fine form once again today as she made a superb high stick save to send Vandana Katariya’s shot over the crossbar. India amassed 3 penalty corners before the half was out but a super clearance off the line by Matthews prevented an equaliser.

O’Flanagan looked like she might double her tally early in the second half as she drove down the wing and along the baseline but Savita was out quick to make a strong low save. India continued to rack up the penalty corners, finishing the day with 7 in total, but McFerran couldn’t be beaten and the Green Army defensive unit were in imperious form. India continued to mount the pressure as they hunted the equaliser but Ireland created chances of their own with Mullan sending a pinpoint pass across the circle but Nikki Evans view was restricted and it skimmed past her stick. India pulled their goalie Savita in the hope of an equaliser and despite their high press and consistent pressure, the Irish didn’t waiver. The experience of Nicci Daly came to the fore along with the unstoppable McCay as Ireland wound the clock down and recorded a famous victory, securing their place in the World Cup quarter final.

Commenting after the game, head coach Graham Shaw said “What a group of players, I thought they were absolutely fantastic from start to finish. It was a difficult game, the conditions were very tough and India played very well, and made it difficult for us. Credit to the players and the work they put it, they’re a special group and they deserve this . It’s my privilege and honour to be part of this group”.

Starting: N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, G Pinder, R Upton, A McFerran, C Watkins, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, E Tice, N Daly, D Duke, A Meeke

Ireland’s Pool B Vitality Hockey World Cup Fixtures:

Ireland 3vs1 USA 21/7/18 6pm

Ireland 1vs0 India 26/7/18 2pm

Ireland vs England 29/7/18 7pm

World Cup Tickets For Sale

Hockey Ireland has a limited number of Women’s World Cup tickets for the Green Army’s pool games against India, USA and England. All those who purchase a World Cup Ticket through Hockey Ireland will be entered into a draw for a brand new Adidas hockey stick.

Ireland vs USA 21/7/18 6pm

Category A: £50

Category B: £30

Ireland vs India 26/7/18 2pm

Category B: £20

Ireland vs England 29/7/18 7pm

Category A: £60

Category B: £ 50

To purchase tickets, please email finance@hockey.ie

Alexander Cox Appointment Green Machine Head Coach

Hockey Ireland is pleased to announce the appointment of Alexander Cox as the new head coach of Ireland men’s hockey team. Cox joins Hockey Ireland and the Green Machine with an abundance of experience having previously held the roles of assistant coach with both the Dutch men’s and women’s national teams, winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics with the latter. He has been the head coach of Kampong men’s team since 2012 and will remain in that role. While there, he has lead the side to the top of the Hoofdklasse for 2 years in a row, as well as winning the Eurohockey League title in 2016.

Commenting on his appointment, Cox said “I’m honored to be the new head coach of the Irish senior men’s team. The Irish culture, the work ethic and persistency of the team, motivates me to start our preparation towards the World Cup in India. I’m looking forward to working with the team, staff and Hockey Ireland”.

Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels welcomes the arrival of Cox to Hockey Ireland “After an extensive recruitment process, we are delighted Alexander is joining our team, and are excited by what he can bring to the Green Machine and hockey in Ireland. His experience speaks for itself and we feel he is the right person to lead the Green Machine in this exciting World Cup year”

Alexander will begin his role on August 1st. Prior to that the Green Machine will travel to Dusseldorf for the 4 Nations Cup where they will be defending their title against Argentina, Germany and France. Watch the 4 Nations Cup by clicking here.

4 Nations Cup Dusseldorf fixtures (all times are local):

26/7/18 5pm Ireland vs Argentina

27/7/18 7:15pm Ireland vs Germany

29/7/18 9:30am Ireland vs France

Ireland Squad:

David Harte (Captain)

Jamie Carr

John Jackson

Jonny Bell

Matthew Bell

Luke Madeley

Matthew Nelson

Alan Sothern

Peter Caruth

Sean Murray

John McKee

Owen Magee

Michael Robson

Daragh Walsh

Paul Gleghorne

Jeremy Duncan

Lee Cole

Stuart Loughrey

Stephen Cole

Get To Know Alison Keogh

Alison Keogh will take to the World Cup pitch in London this week as one of the chosen-few umpires. Below Alison talks about how she began her umpiring journey and how it has brought her to one of the biggest events in sport.

Background

I started playing at 12 as it was the primary sport of my secondary school, Loreto Beaufort in Dublin. Needless to say, having joined the sport quite late, I wasn’t very good! Despite this though I loved the game and persisted, gradually getting somewhat better and rarely missing a session. My love quickly turned to passion though when I joined my club Three Rock Rovers at 16. Three Rock quickly became a second home to me and over the next few years I made my way from 5ths to 1sts/2nds, embraced the social side of the club, met some of my closest friends, joined committees, and eventually became club captain. I have a lot to thank the club for in giving me these experiences and opportunities. Probably my most important first experience they gave me though was picking up a whistle and umpiring a game!

When I joined Three Rock, my Dad, who had umpired years beforehand, was persuaded back onto the pitch to umpire some of my games. I quickly began to question him as to why calls were being blown against me. At first this was done politely after a game, but as I began to learn the rules this quickly progressed to on-pitch questioning, which then progressed to on pitch shouting, before eventually becoming post-match rows in the car on the way home!!! Like most people, I was told that I seemed to know the rules so well as a player that I should see how it feels on the other side of the whistle. So, at 19, having never done any other games, I stepped onto a pitch to umpire the Three Rock Ladies 5ths in Division 14, and surprisingly found myself enjoying myself.

It took me a while to fully embrace umpiring as initially I didn’t want to give up playing. I umpired 3rds and 4ths club games for Three Rock intermittently before the Leinster Hockey Umpires Association began appointing me to Division 2 games. In my first year of this senior hockey I got a call one night informing me that the European Hockey Federation was running an Umpire Development Programme and that Ireland would like to put me forward if I was interested. If selected a group of young umpires would be mentored over 3 years, involving trips to watch international tournaments, practical weekends at club games in other countries and support for any questions etc., that you may have. The idea was to fast-track and support individuals to international standards. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly as I still loved playing, but I took the faith of those around me and decided to put myself forward. Thankfully I was chosen and from 2009 to 2012 I was part of the UDPs Group 4 We were brought on weekends to the Euronations, the Indoor World Cup, the EHL and practical weekends in Dublin and Glasgow. All the while during these three years I was doing less and less playing, and more and more umpiring, including my first international tournament which was the u18 Europeans in Holland in 2011. It was a gradual process but by 2012, at 24, I was umpiring every weekend.

I was awarded my FIH international badge in 2013 following the EuroNations C Division competition in Greece. By then I was doing Division 1 in Leinster, progressing to the IHL and then the EYHL when it began. Umpiring is much like driving a car though, its only when you have your license that you really learn how to drive! There are four further grades of international umpire ahead of the FIH badge, so I realised that if I wanted to go to the top, I still had a lot of work to do! Since I earned my badge I have umpired an Irish Senior Cup final, four IHL/EYHL finals, 11 u21 international matches, and 43 senior international matches. Those matches have taken place at a range of competitions and venues including the u21 Euronations in Belgium, the Junior World Cup in Chile, the Euronations in Holland, and the World League Finals in New Zealand, progressing up the ranks to the World Development Panel (the 2ndhighest rank). Listing them like that makes them sound easy but there was a lot of learning experiences and challenges in between all of those tournaments and years!

Best and worst parts

Umpiring challenges depend on where you are in your own progress, but it also depends on the game itself. Initially when I started umpiring the hardest thing was actually knowing where to stand, and what to call! I could see fouls happening, but I couldn’t work out which came first, and then often forgot to call anything at all! Needless to say some of these games weren’t enjoyable as I knew I wasn’t always being consistent, or calling the right things, and players naturally got frustrated by this. However, through listening to the advice I was given, by attending training courses, and by simply getting out on the pitch to expose myself to more games I gradually started to realise where I had to stand and how to manage situations. The higher you go, the decision making actually become easier believe it or not! But the challenges change. There’s obviously more pressure and scrutiny the higher you go so the mental side of your game becomes more important. Mistakes happen, so it’s important to make sure that you’re able to move on from it once you’ve made a mistake and not let your standards drop for the rest of the game. That can take a lot of work to get right though, it doesn’t always happen easily!

One of the questions I get asked most is why do I do this. That answer is easy! I have travelled the world and most importantly made some great friends. I can honestly say that some of the people that I have met through umpiring are some of my best friends, and are people I stay in touch with even outside of hockey. There are very few things in life that give you that sort of opportunity, let alone one that allow you do that while being involved in the sport that you love. Along with that, umpiring gives me the best seat in the house! There really is nothing like the atmosphere from a crowd as one of the worlds best players makes an attack on goal, and I feel so privileged to be a part of that.

Advice (in general/pre game/pre tournament etc.)

Regardless of what the game is though, whether its club or international, you’re always trying to do your best. In my mind the best games I have are the ones where no one talks about the umpiring! To do that I usually make sure I follow a routine. Obviously you’ve to get a good night sleep the night before a game. On the day itself I usually do a few mindfulness exercises and listen to a specific playlist to help prepare. Coffee is also a must! Pre-game, no matter how often you’ve umpired with someone, we always have a chat about how we plan to manage the game, areas of control etc., so that as a team we are on the same wave length.

In terms of tournaments, the standards for internationals are so high now that you always need to be physically prepared. We do fitness tests three times a year so obviously making sure you’re fit and strong is a critical part of your game and preparation. My gym routine is definitely one of the most important parts of my umpiring. After that, you want to make sure you’ve tested yourself before heading to a tournament. The LHUA and IHUA are great at giving me a variety of games, including mens, before tournaments as its important to get out of your comfort zone. I would usually get feedback at some of these things too so that I’m focused on what I have to work on. Internationally we have a bank of clips from previous tournaments that we can access online so it’s always important to look back over those and see how you can improve, and what you’ve done well.

Self-reflection is probably one of the things that separates the best umpires out there. It is so important to be able to look back on a game and think about why you made a decision, could you have changed anything, how it all went. If you can recognise this yourself, it means you can continually select the next steps you need to take in order to improve. Starting off, this isn’t always easy! If you’re really not sure, seek out feedback from people that are more experienced. It’s not always pleasant to hear about what you need to improve on but listen to what they say and take the time to work on it. It takes persistence and commitment but it’s the only way to keep improving.

If you’ve never umpired before and you’re worried you don’t know the rules there are always 1-2 courses in each half of the season within each province that you can attend, ask questions and clarify rules. There are plenty of us out there who are really willing to answer questions and help new people so I would definitely say to get in touch and you will be helped from there. Throughout all stages of my journey I’ve been supported so well by both the LHUA and the IHUA, with the support changing and adapting as I have. So please do get in touch! Once you attend these courses there is no experience like getting out onto a pitch so you’ll have to go and practice everything you learned but at least you will be able to do it with a bit more confidence!

U16 Girls Six Nations Tournament – Germany Take Gold

Ireland 0 Germany 5

Germany went into this game knowing that a win or a draw would secure overall victory in the tournament. The Irish defence found it difficult to deal with early German pressure and went 2-0 down after goals by Isabella Schmidt and Sophia Schwabe. Germany added a third from Jule Fischer just before the end of the first quarter.

Ireland managed to deal with further German pressure in the second quarter and defended well throughout to leave the score at half-time 3-0 to Germany.

Furhter goals from Jule Fischer and another from Schwabe in the second half made it 5-0 at full-time.

England managed to secure the bronze medal with a 1-0 over Belgium in the first game of the day thanks to a Georgia Brown strike. A 4-0 win for the Dutch over Spain secured the silver medal for the Netherlands.

Results:

Belgium 0 – England 1 (Brown)

Spain 0 – Netherlands 4 (Dicke; Van Loon (2); Hendrix)

Ireland 0 – Germany 5 (Schmidt; Scwabe (2); Strauss; Fischer)

Final Standings: Germany 15pts; Netherlands 12pts; England 8pts; Belgium 6pts; Spain 4pts; Ireland 0pts

Green Army Beat USA 3-1 In World Cup Opener

Vitality Hockey World Cup, London

Ireland 3(Duke x2, McCay)

USA 1(Paolino)

The Green Army have beaten world number 7 USA in their opening World Cup clash.

It was the perfect start for the Green Army against the USA as Deirdre Duke got the scoreboard ticking in the 5thminute. The vision of Roisin Upton came to the forefront as she picked out Duke and sent the ball the length of the pitch to the waiting UCD stalwart in the circle. Duke still had work to do though as she dragged Jackie Briggs from her goal and rounded her to score from a tricky angle. But the Americans didn’t take the goal lying down and Lauren Moyer drew a great sliding save from Ayeisha McFerran in the Irish goal moments later. Gillian Pinder won the first penalty corner of the match and Shirley McCay, Ireland’s most capped female athlete, made it 2-0 with one of her trademark sweeps from the top of the circle. Margaux Paolino got the USA off the mark with a well worked penalty corner routine in the 15th minute as she deflected home a sweep from the top of the circle. Irish captain Katie Mullan could have very nearly made it 3 for the Green Army when she picked up a ball in front of goal from Duke but Briggs did well to smother the shot. Ashley Hoffman saw her penalty corner drag ricochet off the crossbar and Melissa Gonzalez’s rebound shot on the volley was well saved by McFerran to ensure her side held the lead going into half time.

The Green Army came out of the half time break with the same fire and determination as Mullan drew an early stick save from Briggs. Duke got her second in the 41stminute; great build up play down the right side by Megan Frazer and Evans to set Duke up infront of goal for a composed finished past Briggs. USA won two penalty corners in the third quarter but a mistrap and a deflection wide meant the Irish held the advantage. Duke was hunting for a hat trick as she picked up a super pass from Lena Tice into the circle but her reverse shot fizzed just wide. USA, never a side to be underestimated, started to up the pressure and a snap shot by Caitlin van Sickle drew a superb diving glove save from McFerran in the dying minutes.

Speaking after the match, head coach Graham Shaw said “USA are one of the best pressing teams in the world and they can put you on the back foot with their physicality. But I thought we were magnificent and I’m incredibly proud of the group. One of the most pleasing things was how we saw the game out and I thought we looked really composed, we stayed disciplined and structured, and we’re over the moon with that result”.

Starting: N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, G Pinder, R Upton, A McFerran, C Watkins, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, E Tice, N Daly, D Duke, A Meeke

Ireland’s Pool B Vitality Hockey World Cup Fixtures:

Ireland 3vs1 USA 21/7/18 6pm

Ireland vs India 26/7/18 2pm

Ireland vs England 29/7/18 7pm

U16 Boys Six Nations Tournament Round Up – Spain Claim Gold

Ireland 1 Germany 3

Germany opened their account after just two minutes when Florian Sperling beat Ross Clarke in the Irish goal. Ireland recovered well with some good spells of possession and Troy Chambers equalised just before the end of the first quarter to make it 1-1.

In the 35th minute, Ireland were awarded a penalty corner, however it was not stopped and Germany were able to break quickly and won a corner of their own. Luca Kirstein’s finish made it 2-1 to Germany. The lead was extended late in the third quarter when Peer Hinrichs scored.

Despite a spirited performance from Ireland in the final quarter they were unable to close the gap and the score at full-time was 3-1 to Germany.

In the other games, a Quentin Moens goal was enough for Belgium to beat England to go top of the table. This meant that Spain needed to win in their match with the Netherlands in the final game of the day to overhaul the Belgians and it turned out to be a highly competitive affair.

The Spanish took a 1-0 lead into half-time thanks to a 28th minute penalty corner scored by Grau Albert. They extended that lead early in the second half when Eric Gonzalez slotted the ball home. The Netherlands began to up the pressure and scored twice before the end of the third quarter through Pim Haring and Guus Jansen.

Early in the fourth quarter, The Dutch were awarded a penalty stroke after a trip in the circle and Hidde Parlevliet took full advantage. With just ten minutes remaining Spain equalised through Jan Clapes and Oriol Bozal put Spain 4-3 up just a minute later. The Netherlands were unable to find a goal in the remaining minutes and Spain secured the gold medal.

Results:

Belgium 1 (Moens) – England 0

Ireland 1 (Chambers) – Germany 3 (Sperling; Kirstein; Hinrichs)

Spain 4 (Albert; Gonzalez; Clapes; Bozal) – Netherlands 3 (Haring; Jansen; Parlevliet)

Final Standings: Spain 13pts; Belgium 12pts; Germany 9pts; Netherlands 7pts; Ireland 4pts; England 0pts

U16 Boys Six Nations Tournament – Day 4 Round Up

Ireland 0 Belgium 1

Ireland had plenty of reasons to be confident going into this game, having put in two excellent performances beating England and drawing with Spain during the week. It was Belgium however, who got off to the perfect start, scoring from open play in the 2nd minute through Axel de Bolle. Despite exerting pressure on the Belgian defence throughout the first half, Ireland were unable to find an equaliser and Belgium went in at the break 1-0 up.

Ireland came into their own in the third quarter dominating possession and forcing 3 penalty corners, with Troy Chambers coming close, however they could not break down a resolute Belgian defence. Belgium began to take control in the last quarter and won 2 penalty corners early on with Ireland defending them well. Despite taking off the Irish goalkeeper Ben Whelan with 2 minutes to go, Ireland were unable to find a goal and it finished 1-0 to Belgium.

The Netherlands beat England 7-1 in the first game of the day with Ivo Visser scoring a hat-trick for the Dutch. In the final game of the day, Germany and Spain played out a 1-1 draw before Spain took the bonus point in the shoot-out 3-2.

Results:

Netherlands 7 (Boeren; Visser (3); Parlevliet(2); Haring) – England 1 (Moorhouse)

Ireland 0 – Belgium 1 (de Bolle)

Germany 1 (Sperling) – Spain 1 (Borras) (Spain won the shoot-out 3-2)

Fixtures: Saturday 21st July:

09.00 Belgium v England (Girls)

11.00 Spain v Netherlands (Girls)

13.00 Belgium v England (Boys)

15.00 Ireland v Germany (Girls)

17.00 Ireland v Germany (Boys)

19.00 Spain v Netherlands (Boys)

Photo Credit – Trevor Collins

U16 Girls Six Nations Tournament – Day 3 Round Up

Ireland 1 Spain 2

Ireland took on Spain today in their third match of the tournament. The opening quarter was evenly contested with both sides creating chances. Spain managed to win their second penalty corner in the 14th minute and after the initial shot was defended, Carla Barba Armengol was first to react to give Spain the lead. Despite some pressure from Spain towards the end of the first half, the Irish defence stood firm to leave the score at half-time 1-0 to Spain.

Ireland began brightly after the break, earning a penalty corner in the 2nd minute with Milly Lynch flicking the ball just over the crossbar. Lynch was given a second opportunity five minutes later and this time she dragged low and left to score the equaliser. Spain restored their lead just a minute later when Paula Pena Martinez slotted passed Holly Micklem in the Irish goal to lead at the end of the third quarter by 2-1.

In the fourth quarter, Spain created the better chances but could not extend their lead. Ireland pressed hard in the final minutes but could not break down the hard working Spanish defence.

In the opening game of the day, two penalty corners goals by Antonia Lonnes and a field goal from Jette Flescheutz gave Germany a 3-0 win over England. This was followed by the Netherlands beating Belgium 6-0 with Trijntje Beljaars scoring a brace.

Results:

England 0 – Germany 3 (Lonnes (2); Fleschuetz)

Netherlands 6 (Mette; Veldhuis; Beljaars (2); Roberts; Van Den Bosch) – Belgium 0

Ireland 1 (Lynch) – Spain 2 (Barba Armengol; Pena Martinez)

Fixtures: Thursday 19th July

12.00 Netherlands v England (Girls)

14.00 Germany v Spain (Girls)

16.00 Ireland v Belgium (Girls)

Photo Credit – Trevor Collins