Additional Funding Announced Following World Cup Success

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, T.D., and the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin, T.D., today announced the allocation of €1.75million in additional funding for high performance sport. The Board of Sport Ireland has agreed that the funding should be allocated to National Governing Bodies and other sporting bodies to assist athletes’ preparations for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

Announcing the funding, Minister Ross said: “We have seen some truly extraordinary achievements over the past few weeks, with medal success for our Women’s Hockey Team, as well as Irish rowers, sprinters, para-cyclists and gymnasts. Recognising the success of our sportsmen and women, who do so much to inspire Irish children and young people, I am delighted to announce this additional funding for high performance programmes across a range of sports.

As I indicated previously, a significant proportion – some €500,000 – of this funding is being allocated to Hockey Ireland and I have no doubt that they will continue to build upon their remarkable successes of recent years”

Speaking about the announcment Hockey Ireland’s CEO, Jerome Pels said ‘Hockey Ireland is absolutely delighted with today’s announcement of additional funding of €500,000. This is a great addition to the already substantial high-performance funding we have received for 2018, which included a special grant for World Cup participation. We are very grateful for the continued support of Sport Ireland in providing funding, facilities and services that allow our players to play at the highest level of our sport. This is fantastic news helping Hockey to progress towards Olympic Qualification and a good result in Tokyo.’

Irish Women up to 8th in the World

The Irish women’s senior team has climbed 8 places in the FIH World Rankings on the back of their silver medal success at the FIH World Cup in London.

Prior to the tournament, Ireland, ranked 16th, was the second lowest ranked side at the event. Wins over USA (ranked 7th) and India (10th) in the group stages, followed by penalty shoot-out wins again over India and then Spain (11th), on their way to the final meant that Ireland are now ranked 8th in the world.

World Cup champions, the Netherlands, have tightened their grip on top spot with England remaining 2nd. Australia has now moved to 3rd at the expense of Argentina who drop a place to 4th. The other big movers were the Spanish, who climb to 7th after beating Australia in the bronze medal match.

Green Army Win World Cup Silver

Vitality Hockey World Cup Final, London

Ireland 0

Netherlands 6 (Welten, Jonker, van Male, Pheninckx, Keetels, van Maasakker)

It was always going to be a tough task against the world number 1 side in sweltering heat but the Green Army were in their usual determined form. The opening goal came in a crowded circle in the 7thminute when Lidewij Welten spun her marker and shot home from close range.

Anna O’Flanagan and Nicci Daly were causing the Dutch some trouble down the left wing but the experienced Dutch defence kept the circle entries to a minimum. Kelly Jonker doubled her sides lead in the 19thminute as she sent a rocket into the corner from her reverse shot.

The Netherlands notched up 5 penalty corners in the opening half but the corner runners weren’t giving the Dutch any time and drag flicks were sent high and wide until Kitty van Male picked up a loose ball from an initial penalty corner block and swept into the corner. A minute later and Malou Pheninckx found herself free in the circle and smashed the ball high into the net to put her side 4-0 in front at the half.

The start of the second half didn’t go according to plan as Welten broke into the circle in the 32ndminute and slipped the ball to Marloes Keetels free in front of goal for the tap in. Caia van Maasakker made it 6 from a penalty corner drag high into the corner. Chloe Watkins, winning her 200thcap today, was appearing all over the pitch as she poached the ball from the Dutch and then looked to set up attacks on the counter. The best chance of the quarter came from a Dutch penalty corner mistrap that saw Ireland break at pace and Deidre Duke pick up the ball in the circle but good scramble defence by the Netherlands so them win possession back. There was no lack of effort from the Green Army as they defended resiliently, and Lizzie Colvin and Katie Mullan were at the core of several turnovers as Ireland chased a goal. Daly was the first to test Anna Veenendaal as she darted into the circle and smashed the ball goalward but the shot was well saved. 2 penalty corners in quick succession for the Dutch were duly dealt with as Roisin Upton saved one off the line and Shirley McCay threw her body in front of another to see Margot van Geffen’s shot go high.

Netherlands ran out deserved winners but the Green Army cemented their place in history with World Cup silver and Ayeisha McFerran was rightly named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

Graham Shaw, head coach, said “Netherlands are an outstanding side with world class players, we can be so proud to stand here and say we came second in the world. It’s an incredible achievement, and I think when the girls reflect back they will see what a remarkable achievement this is. There’s not many people back home in Ireland that can say they have a World silver medal. This is just so special and I could not be more proud of them”.

Starting: N Evans, K Mullan, 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, E Tice, E Beatty, 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 0vs0 India (3-1 in shootout) 2/8/18 6pm

Semi Final Ireland 1vs1 Spain. Shootout: Ireland 3v2 Spain 4/8/18 2pm

World Cup Final Ireland 0vs6 Netherlands 5/8/18 4:30pm

Green Army Homecoming Information

The World Cup silver medal winning squad will arrive into Dublin Airport at 12:30/12:45 tomorrow in Terminal 1.

Hockey fans and supporters will get their chance to celebrate with the Irish Women’s Hockey Team following their recent success at the Women’s Hockey World Cup. A special event hosted by Dublin’s Lord Mayor Nial Ring and Dublin City Council will be held for the team and supporters tomorrow (Monday, 6th August) at 3pm on Dame St. Access from 2pm will be from Dame St or South Great Georges St.

On behalf of Dublin City Council, the team will be welcomed onto the stage at 3p.m. by the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries.

This is a family-friendly alcohol-free event. Dublin City Council asks people to use public transport when travelling to and from the event..

Dublin City Council is hosting this event to give supporters a chance to congratulate the team on their success on reaching the final of the Women’s Hockey World Cup. There might even be a sing song!

Traffic restrictions will be in place from 10:00 hours on Monday, 6th August in the vicinity of Dame St and surrounding streets.

Green Army Going To The World Cup Final!

Vitality Hockey World Cup, London

Ireland 1(O’Flanagan)

Spain 1 (Magaz)

Penalty Shootout:

Ireland 3 (Pinder x2, Watkins)

Spain 2 (Oliva, Riera)

The Green Army have beaten Spain in a penalty shootout to secure their place in the World Cup Final.

It was the dream start for the Green Army as Katie Mullan sent the ball into the circle and won the first penalty corner of the game. Shirley McCay swept the ball from the top of the circle and Anna O’Flanagan slipped her marker and deflected past Maria Ruiz to give her side the lead in the 3rdminute. The pace and precision of the Green Army didn’t let up and Gillian Pinder won her side’s second penalty corner before the end of the first quarter. A straight strike from the top by Ali Meeke was well saved by Maria Ruiz as O’Flanagan lurked in front looking for another deflection. Julia Pons sent a deflection at the other end just past the post as Spain settled into the game, likewise Carola Salvatella sent an unconventional shot just wide. The Green Army defence continued their impenetrable form with Shirley McCay and Hannah Matthews frustrating the Spanish forward line and limiting any further clear cut chances. Ireland ended the half the better of the two sides with Deidre Duke sending a reverse strike inches wide and then combining with Nikki Evans to win Ireland’s third penalty corner. Matthews sweep from the top was saved by Ruiz and Ireland went in at half time holding their 1-0 lead.

It took just 2 minutes into the second half for Mullan to win her sides 4thpenalty corner but the variation didn’t quite come off as McCay sent the ball to the right looking for Mullan on the post. 2 minutes later and it looked like Spain had their first penalty corner but a smart referral by Matthews saw the ball was lifted high and the Green Army won the free out. Spain began to up the pressure as the half progressed and got their equaliser in the 39thminute from a ball crossed in to Alicia Magaz who scored from close range. The stats show that Spain had 21 circle entries as they chased the winner with Lucia Jimenez sending her shot over the crossbar. Mullan won her side a penalty corner in the final 2 minutes but Zoe Wilson’s sweep was saved off the line by Rocio Gutierrez and the sides were destined for a shoot-out.

It was Pinder who was the hero as she scored her first shot and then her second in sudden death in the 6thround. In between those two vital moments though Watkins scored in the 5thround and Ayeisha McFerran was unbeatable in 4 of Spain’s attempts. Pinder’s second goal secured the 3-2 victory and put the Green Army in their first ever World Cup Final!

Graham Shaw, head coach said “This performance was testament to the character and belief in our team. It was warm out there, and I thought we looked the stronger side in the final minutes, and that’s down to the fitness of this team and how hard they work. This is just amazing and hopefully this will be a changing moment in our sport. I could not be more proud of this team, they deserve every bit of this”.

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 0vs0 India (3-1 in shootout) 2/8/18 6pm

Semi Final Ireland 1vs1 Spain. Shootout: Ireland 3v2 Spain 4/8/18 2pm

World Cup Final Ireland vs Netherlands or Australia 5/8/18 4:30pm

PHOTO:GETTY/FIH

Green Army Beat India To Reach World Cup Semi Final

Vitality Hockey World Cup, London

Ireland 0

India 0

Penalty Shootout:

Ireland 3 (Upton, Meeke, Watkins)

India 1(Khokhar)

The Green Army have continued their history-making run by beating India in a penalty shootout to secure their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

Despite the possession stats saying the opening quarter was relatively even, it was certainly the Green Army that had the more concrete chances. Gillian Pinder and Nikki Evans were the first to test the Indian defence, before Shirley McCay slipped the ball to Anna O’Flanagan but she was robbed of the ball before she could get the shot away. It was a physical encounter with Evans taking the brunt of the Indian midfield tackles but Lena Tice sent a pass to her in the circle but it was poached before she could do any real damage. Monika looked threatening at times for India but Ayeisha McFerran had very little to do in the opening 30 minutes. The Green Army went up a gear as the half progressed with Katie Mullan sending the ball in from the right wing but Savita smothered the ball before the diving O’Flanagan could get the touch. The midfield engine room were working over-time with Lizzie Colvin and Chloe Watkins both bypassing their Indian counterparts but the opening goal wouldn’t fall for the Irish before the half time hooter echoed around a full stadium.

Ireland continued with the same dominance early in the second half with both McCay and Yvonne O’Byrne sending crash balls into the circle for the chasing Mullan. Nikki Pradhan and Rani started to step up for India and were the root of any creativity from the world number 10. Watkins looked to have infiltrated the Indian defence with a pin point pass to O’Flanagan in the circle but it was intercepted before reaching the awaiting sharp shooter. India won the only penalty corner of the game in the 49thminute but Rani’s shot from the top of the circle was saved and cleared by McFerran. Both sides looked to be tiring in the dying moments as the temperature refused to budge below 30 degrees and a shootout looked inevitable with the Irish defence remaining rock solid.

Nobody scored in the opening two rounds with both Nicci Daly and O’Flanagan been driven wide by Savita in the India goal while McFerran continued her imperious form to deny Rani and Monika. It was Roisin Upton who broke the deadlock in the third round of shuttles before McFerran again saved, denying Navjot Kaur. Ali Meeke then put Ireland 2 in front but Reena Khokhar got one back for India. Watkins stepped up to win it and with the calmness that only 198 caps can bring she slotted home to put Ireland into their first ever World Cup semi-final.

Commenting after the game, head coach Graham Shaw said “I’m just so proud of the group of players. It was really difficult at times, India are a very good side but we dug so deep. To go to a shootout and bury some demons is also really important for us, I’m just full of pride. I felt if we could score 2 then we’d win because Ayeisha is an incredible goalie, she’s so difficult to score against”.

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 0vs0 India (3-1 in shootout) 2/8/18 6pm