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IRISH WOMEN’S SQUAD NAMED FOR UPCOMING GAMES

Hockey Ireland senior women’s coach Sean Dancer has named a 23 player national squad panel ahead of a busy 2022 which includes July’s World Cup and August’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers. […]

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Irish men’s panel named for coming months as Paris 2024 groundwork begins

Mark Tumilty has named a 25-strong central squad to work with for the coming months ahead of a busy summer as the squad lays the groundwork for the Road to Paris 2024.

The squad ramps up its regional training sessions next week in the wake of the Irish Senior Cup final and will have their first camp of the summer program from May 13th to 15th.

The key event during the summer will be August’s EuroHockey Championship qualifier while there is also the FIH Nations Cup scheduled for December.

It is an important phase as the Green Machine look to get into position for the Olympic qualifiers which will take place in a new, tournament-based format in early 2024.

The panel features four uncapped players with Banbridge Academy schoolboy Charlie Rowe the youngest of the group following an exceptional season for school, province and club. His twin brother Louis has also been included in the Ulster regional training group.

Three Rock Rovers player of the season Ben Johnson, Donegal man Luke Witherow – who plies his trade with Banbrdge – and Lisnagarvey’s Jonny Lynch are also fresh faces looking to make their senior debuts.

Nick Page is looking to pick up his first formal cap having played a role in a number of challenge matches last summer in green. He enjoyed a strong club season with Old Geogrians – alongside Kyle Marshall – as the club won the English Premier Division for the first time.

There are five Belgian-based players involved. Ben Walker will link up with the panel following the playoffs with Braxgata while KHC Leuven quartet Luke Madeley, Daragh Walsh, Sean Murray and Jaime Carr also had strong seasons with a club who finished fifth in the Ion League.

Conor Empey, meanwhile, has been firing in the goals in the Dutch Hoofdklasse – world hockey’s strongest club league – with eight for SCHC. It is the highest total for an Irish player in a season in the competition.

Domestic champions Lisnagarvey provide four of the central panel: James Milliken, Mark McNellis, Peter McKibbin and Lynch. Milliken will vye for the goalkeeping duties with Carr and Pembroke’s Mark Ingram.

Michael Robson is the most experienced player in the panel and the link to the 2016 Olympic squad with 123 caps. His younger brother Callum and Tim Cross make up a trio of Annadale players.

Monkstown’s Jeremy Duncan and Crefelder HTC’s Neal Glassey are two more with extensive know-how while Glenanne’s Sam O’Connor, UCD’s Kevin O’Dea and YMCA’s Sam Hyland will look to forge ever-more prominent roles with the side.

Currently, David and Conor Harte (family reasons), Lee Cole, Shane O’Donoghue and David Fitzgerald (work commitments) and Matthew Nelson (travelling) are taking a break from the program but will potentially rejoin the panel in 2022 or early 2023.

Ireland senior men’s national training panel:
Jaime Carr (KHC Leuven, 40)
James Milliken (Lisnagarvey, 6)
Mark Ingram (Pembroke, 28)
Tim Cross (Annadale, 25)
Mark McNellis (Lisnagarvey, 6)
Luke Madeley (KHC Leuven, 26)
Kyle Marshall (Old Georgians, 10)
Neil Glassey (Crefelder HTC, 70)
Peter McKibbin (Lisnagarvey, 11)
Sam O’Connor (Glenanne, 14)
Sean Murray (KHC Leuven, 88)
Daragh Walsh (KHC Leuven, 61)
Michael Robson (Annadale, 123)
Kevin O’Dea (UCD, 7)
Nick Page (Old Georgians, 0)
Luke Witherow (Banbridge, 0)
Ben Walker (Braxgata, 45)
Johnny McKee (Banbridge, 52)
Callum Robson (Annadale, 3)
Jeremy Duncan (Monkstown, 66)
Conor Empey (SCHC, 5)
Sam Hyland (YMCA, 5)
Ben Johnson (Three Rock Rovers, 0)
Charlie Rowe (Banbridge, 0)
Jonny Lynch (Lisnagarvey, 0)

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Irish underage sides compete in Lilleshall and Zwolle

The Irish underage teams had their first outings of 2022, taking in fixtures in Lilleshall for the Under-18s and in Zwolle in the Netherlands for the Under-16s.

For the Under-18 boys, they started off at a high tempo against the Netherlands. The Dutch did see a first quarter stroke saved by Conor Murphy while Charlie Rowe had a goal disallowed as the Oranje eventually went on to win 1-0.

In game two, a strong, clinical Belgian side showed their strength and experience. A first Irish goal for Ben Pollock came from play while Harry Dagg scored a penalty corner rebound with the junior Red Lions winning 4-2.

The highlight of the weekend came against England Monday when a touch from Conor Matthews put Ireland in the lead in the second quarter and they held out for the rest of the match to bag the win.

The squad featured 12 first caps from the 22 traveling players this weekend. The side is supported by Comit.ie and Emtek.co.uk.

U18 Boys
Ireland 0 Netherlands 1
Ireland 2 Belgium 4
Ireland 1 England 0

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The Under-18 girls also had their strongest outcome in game three when they drew 0-0 with England with both sides having their chances but defences held firm.

Belgium had earlier edged Ireland out 2-1 with Darcy McGall scoring the Irish goal. The Netherlands, meanwhile, were and outstanding outfit who won out 12-1, Anna Pim scoring a brilliant corner flick in a strong second half showing.

U18 Girls
Ireland 1 Netherlands 12
Ireland 1 Belgium 2
Ireland 0 England 0

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The Under-16 boys made strong progress over the course of the weekend in their first games at this level for two years. They started off with a tough defeat to Belgium but narrowed the gap significantly after that.

They put in a strong performance against England, only conceding a late goal in 1-0 defeat while they pushed the Netherlands in an exciting contest which ended 2-0.

Under 16 Boys
Ireland 1 Belgium 7
Ireland 0 England 1
Ireland 0 Netherlands 2

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In what was a first international series for the Irish Under-16 girls, they fought hard through their series in Zwolle. They put in a superb effort against Belgium, conceding twice in the last eight minutes to lose 3-0.

It was the same scoreline against England and they finished off a learning experience against the Netherlands in a 4-0 result, improving game on game

Under-16 Girls
Ireland 0 Belgium 3
Ireland 0 England 3
Ireland 0 Netherlands 4

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Ireland Under-16 girls squad for 4 Nations in Zwolle

The Irish Under-16 girl’s team are travelling to Zwolle, the Netherlands, for a Four Nations tournament, taking on England, Belgium and the host country from 15th to 17th April.

“We are looking forward to travelling to Lilleshall to test ourselves against Nederlands, Belgium and England. This will be an important phase in this group’s development as we build towards our tournament in Spain in July.”

 

 

NAME SCHOOL CLUB PROVINCE
Aliya Davis Holy Child Killiney Muckross LEINSTER
Amy Handcock Kilkenny College Naas LEINSTER STH
Anna Campbell Crescent College Comp Crescent MUNSTER
Annie Cunningham Royal School Armagh Lurgan Ladies ULSTER
Aoife O’Meara Muckross Park College Pembroke LEINSTER
Charlie Bowman  (GK) Wallace Lisnagarvey ULSTER
Chloe Spencer Markethill High School Armagh ULSTER
Emilie O’Brien St Andrew’s Collerge Monkstown LEINSTER
Grainne Molloy (GK) Gaelcholáiste Na Mara Wicklow LEINSTER STH
Isobel Field Loreto Foxrock Avoca LEINSTER
Katie Heron Killicomaine JHS Portadown ULSTER
Kia McCartney Coleraine Grammar Coleraine ULSTER
Maebh McLoughlin Sligo Grammar Pembroke CONNACHT
Milla Fulton Wesley College Pembroke LEINSTER
Millie Jerman Hioly Child Killiney Monkstown LEINSTER
Orla Young Hughes Rathdown School Monkstown LEINSTER
Rachel Lennon Portadown College Portadown ULSTER
Rebekah Lennon Kilcomaine Jnr High Portadown ULSTER
Sarah Byrne Loreto Foxrock Avoca LEINSTER
Scarlet Taylor Royal School Armagh Armagh ULSTER
Sophie English Mount Anville Pembroke LEINSTER
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Ireland Under-16 boys squad for 4 Nations in Zwolle

The Irish Under-16 boy’s team are travelling to Zwolle, the Netherlands, for a Four Nations tournament, taking on England, Belgium and the host country from 15th to 17th April.

We’re very grateful to have the opportunity to play against some of the top European  nations this weekend. The players have been working hard together as a group since October, and this will be their first experience of competitive international hockey, so its a great opportunity to benchmark our progress. I’d like to say a huge thanks to all of our sponsors for supporting Irish hockey and helping the squad on its journey.

NAME SQUAD NUMBER
Jack Fairmaner 4
Harvey Begg 3
Ben Thompson 12
Robert Olden 5
Harry St Leger (Co captain) 6
William McMullan 18
George Palmer (Co captain) 7
Scott Kenny 13
Max Caulwell 8
ZachSilverman 14
Peter Montgomery 20
Zac JMoloney 16
Lukas Moles 19
Adam McKee 9
Matthew  McAreavey 17
Hamish JScott 21
Tom Archbold 11
Matthew Carry 10
Samuel  Mahoney Doyle 2
Benjamin Law 15
Matthew McLearnon 1
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Ireland Under-18 girls squad for 5 Nations in Lilleshall

Irish Under-18 girls are travelling to Lilleshall from 15th to 18th April where they will compete against The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England in a five-nation tournament.

“We are looking forward to travelling to Lilleshall to test ourselves against Nederlands, Belgium and England. This will be an important phase in this group’s development as we build towards our tournament in Spain in July.”

  NAME PROVINCE
1 ROBYN MURPHY MUNSTER
2 MARTHA DUIGNAN LEINSTER
3 ANNA PIM ULSTER
4 KATE RYAN MUNSTER
5 ELLA PASLEY LEINSTER
6 AOIBHEANN COLLINS MUNSTER
7 REBECCA CARTHY LEINSTER
8 ROISIN SEXTON LEINSTER
9 KATIE MOORE MUNSTER
10 ENYA DARBY ULSTER
11 AVA MALEADY LEINSTER
12 EVA GASTON ULSTER
13 OLIVIA BEATTIE ULSTER
14 JODIE SIMMONS ULSTER
15 ELLA BROWN ULSTER
16 SARAH KIRGAN ULSTER
17 GABRIELLA SCOTT ULSTER
18 GEORGINA FOTTRELL LEINSTER
19 KAIA MOORE ULSTER
20 EMMA UPRICHARD ULSTER
21 DARCY MCGALL ULSTER

 

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Ireland Under-18 boys squad for 5 Nations in Lilleshall

Irish Under-18 boys head coach Simon Lowry has named a panel of 22 to travel to Lilleshall from 15th to 18th April where they will compete against The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England in a five-nation tournament.

“After a 2 year break from international hockey, it is great to able to give lots of players the opportunity to represent Ireland for the first time. The squad has worked hard in recent sessions despite an incredibly demanding calendar. We are excited to get back out on the pitch to assess where we are as a squad as we continue to build towards the 8 Nations tournament this summer.”

Fixture schedule (all at Lilleshall, England)
Friday, April 15th: Ireland v Netherlands, 1pm
Saturday, April 16th: Ireland v Belgium, 1pm
Monday, April 18th: Ireland v England, 2.15pm
Squad:
Player Club School Province
Allen Lyons Annadale HC Royal Belfast Academical Institution Ulster
Ben Pasley Three Rock Rovers HC The High School Leinster
Ben Pollock Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy Ulster
Charlie Rowe Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy Ulster
Cian Dorgan Cork C of I HC Ashton Munster
Conor Matthews Annadale HC Sullivan Upper Ulster
Conor Murphy Avoca HC Newpark Comprehensive Leinster
Harry Dagg Avoca HC Temple Carrig Leinster
James Clark Annadale HC Methodist College Belfast Ulster
James Evans Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy Ulster
Josh Gill Three Rock Rovers HC Wesley College Leinster
Mackenzie Connor Lisnagarvey HC Friends’ School Lisburn Ulster
Mark Cuddy Cookstown HC Cookstown High School Ulster
Matthew McKee Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy Ulster
Matthew Stevenson Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy Ulster
Patrick McElhinney Annadale HC Methodist College Belfast Ulster
Rhys Armah-Kwantreng Monkstown HC St Andrew’s College Leinster
Sam Dale Cork Harlequins HC Bandon Grammar Munster
Sam Hickmott Monkstown HC St Andrew’s College Leinster
Scott Hosick Lisnagarvey HC Friends’ School Lisburn Ulster
Tiarnan Gaffney Catholic Institute HC Villiers School Ulster
Tommy Dobson Banbridge HC Banbridge Academy

 

Management Team:
Head Coach – Simon Lowry
Assistant Coach – Adam Pritchard
Manager – Ruth McDonagh
Physio – Hugh Byrne
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Four-star Ireland finish debut Junior World Cup with a flourish

Women’s Junior World Cup
9th-10th place playoff
Ireland 4 (S O’Brien, L Mulcahy, Y Pratt, C Hamill) Austria 0

Ireland finished strong to end their first ever Junior World Cup campaign in ninth place with a third successive win in Potchefstroom, running up four second half goals in a superb performance.

Siofra O’Brien, Lisa Mulcahy, Yasmin Pratt and Christina Hamill were all on the score sheet, ending the campaign in ninth place. It added to wins over Canada and Malaysia in the classification matches, bouncing back well from the group stages when Ireland missed out on the top eight in frustrating fashion.

“We really enjoyed this!” said player of the match Sarah McAuley. “We treated it like our final and did ourselves proud, finishing ninth. I am so proud of all the girls. It was the last game; we just said ‘go out, give it a lash and relish this opportunity’.”

Reflecting on the flow and tactical battle of the game, coach David Passmore added: “We didn’t convert in the first half and were a little bit frantic at times. But in the second, we played with a lot more composure. We did have a small panic when we lost a bit of structure but you have to ride those periods. It will never be plain sailing for 60 minutes.

“Tactically, we did it how we wanted to do it. The key thing is we wanted to develop with every game and finish well and we have done that.

“We like to play on the front foot, pressing, pressing, pressing. From the other Austrian games, I hadn’t seen them face that and so I thought we’d give it a go. You do accept they will occasionally get the ball through but we won a lot of ball.”

That high pressing intent was shown from the outset. Yasmin Pratt – player of the match in the win over Malaysia – won a corner with just 35 seconds gone, a set piece which took over 20 minutes to take place as lightning in the area saw the players race off the pitch as a precaution.

On their return to action, Sarah McAuley twice tested goalkeeper Fabienne Gnehm from the top of the D before brilliantly keeping out Anna Horan at close quarters from Christina Hamill’s dancing run and cross.

Austria, sitting in a deep half-court mode, had only fleeting moments in offence but were providing tough to break down and it remained scoreless in the first half.

The gaps started to appear more frequently in the third quarter and Ireland made the breakthrough in the 36th minute when McAuley, stepping up down the left wing, cut inside and picked out Siofra O’Brien.

The striker had her back to goal but turned smartly and chipped in a backhand shot that left Gnehm with no chance.

Austria showed more in attack after the goal, winning their first corner which Katharina Proksch fired just wide but they were two behind as the hooter blew for the end of Q3.

Pratt was again instrumental in winning the set play which Caoimhe Perdue slapped at goal and Lisa Mulcahy deflected in.

Holly Micklem was called to make her first save with nine minutes to go, sliding out brilliantly to block Franziska Frey and, from the rebound, the Old Alex keeper made her second block seconds later.

But the tie was well and truly settled from Ireland’s sixth corner, again Perdue bringing the power and Pratt was on hand to redirect the shot out of reach of sub goalie Corinna Stedronsky.

Christina Hamill closed out the tournament with a beautiful piece of work, McAuley’s long ball locating Mikayla Power who slipped an inviting pass that the Loreto midfielder threw herself to make it 4-0.

It brought the curtain down on a dramatic World Cup campaign, one which was initially postponed from December and then realigned due to Russia’s exclusion and Ukraine’s eventual withdrawal.

Nonetheless, it was an unforgettable experience for the Junior Green Army to compete at this level for the first time, winning three out of five fixtures in South Africa.

“I just want to thank everyone here for being so kind,” Passmore concluded. “We got such a great welcome. It;’s been a tough two years for everyone on the organising committee and we really appreciate everything they have done.”

Ireland: H Micklem, E Reid, S Murdoch, R Kelly, C Perdue, A Elliott, Y Pratt, C Sherin, C Hamill, L Mulcahy, S McAuley
Subs: E Paul S Cole, S O’Brien, M Power, A Horan, K-J Marshall, E McLoughlin

Austria: F Gnehm, C Kemper, H Herzog, J Czech, K Bauer, K Proksch, L Kern, L Buchta, F Felber, N Matousek, F Frey
Subs: M Monghy, A Minar, S Klaus, H Szladits, S Hruby, J Frey, C Stedronsky

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Perdue’s last minute magic propels Ireland to win over Malaysia

Women’s Junior World Cup
9th-12th place playoff
Ireland 2 (R Kelly, C Perdue) Malaysia 1 (N Zulkifli)

Captain Caoimhe Perdue whipped home a brilliant penalty corner strike 46 seconds from time to ensure Ireland will finish in the top 10 at the women’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom.

She applied all the power for her second goal of the tournament as the Junior Green Army eventually broke through against a Malaysian opponent who made life very difficult in a bruising encounter.

Ireland had led early on when player of the match Yasmin Pratt raced clear to set up Rachel Kelly to slot a 14th minute goal.

But the Asian side rode their luck for long periods while their all-heart style led to numerous injuries and breaks in play which slowed the tempo of the contest. They got level in the fourth quarter via Nuramirah Zulkifli’s superb strike but Ireland kept piling forward and from a late trio of penalty corners, Perdue settled the contest.

Pratt summed up the jubilant post-match mood, saying: “We are just over the moon. In the last five minutes, the intensity upped another level and we were really fighting for that win and when the goal went in, none of us could have been happier! So proud of my team.”

It puts Ireland through to a match against Austria on Monday with the winner finishing ninth overall, a strong comeback after Ireland missed out on the quarter-finals in frustrating fashion.

“Obviously, we believed in ourselves to get here but we have never been to a World Cup before so we didn’t know what to expect. We have really done ourselves proud. We definitely have that Irish spirit, a lot of passion and when it comes down to the nail-biting, hard wins, we really call on that passion.”

Coach David Passmore, meanwhile, added: “We made hard work of it! We didn’t take our early chances. I thought we played quite well at the beginning of the second half and then just lost control, structure and made the wrong decisions.

“That happens and it is about riding that. Thankfully, after conceding that, we really showed the best of our game and were on the front foot, creating a lot of chances.”

Early on, other than a couple of Malaysian penalty corners, it was a tie Passmore’s side started in strong form with Christina Hamill’s 3D skills and ghosting runs causing havoc.

Sarah McAuley’s strike was awkwardly saved by Mashitah Ab before Kelly potted her second of the tournament in the 14th minute.

It was ably setup by Pratt’s searing pace – both players having learned their hockey at schools in Kilkenny, the asssiter at College, the scorer at Loreto – after Mikayla Power had poked the ball back into Irish possession.

With a little more composure it might have been two on a number of occasions in the second quarter while Ab almost contrived to let in a Power cross, sprawling to recover from her own error to brilliantly scoop the ball off the goal line.

Pratt deflected Katie-Jane Marshall’s slap into the circle onto the post as the Malaysian goal lived a charmed life while their low-down approach saw three Malaysian players ship knocks and depart injured in the third quarter alone.

It made for a stodgy phase with little momentum and Malaysia get their foothold in the tie. During this phase, a loose bouncing ball found Zulkifli in the circle unattended and she took her time before firing high into the net.

The Irish reaction was strong, making all the running for the last 13 minutes. Aoife Taaffe could not get enough on Kelly’s clever cross while Sophia Cole’s innovative reverse-stick shot was blocked.

But three more penalty corners came in the last 75 seconds, the third of which Perdue slammed in from the top of the D for a gleefully celebrated win.

Ireland complete their campaign on Monday (2.45pm, Irish time) against Austria with ninth place on offer for the winner.

Ireland: E McLoughlin, E Paul, S O’Brien, R Kelly, C Perdue, A Elliott, Y Pratt, C Hamill, L Mulcahy, S McAuley, K-J Marshall
Subs: S Cole, E Reid, A Taaffe, M Power, C Sherin, A Horan, H Micklem

Malaysia:
M Ab, A Dayang, S Mohd, N Azhar, K Nurul, S Husain, N Azman, N Zulkifli, N Syafi, K Gurdip, I Hussin
Subs: I Effarizal, N Mohamad, N Isahhidun, N Mohd, K Mohd, N Yussaini, S Nasir

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Junior Green Army hit their stride to beat Canada

FIH Women’s Junior World Cup
9th-16th place classification match
Ireland 6 (R Kelly, C Hamill, S O’Brien, C Perdue, E Paul, Y Pratt) Canada 1 (J Berger)

Ireland took out their group stage frustrations on Canada at the Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, running up a healthy win to begin their classification series on the front foot.

The quarter-finals proved elusive earlier this week after single-goal defeats to England and hosts South Africa, leaving David Passmore’s side to focus on trying to land a ninth place finish via this knock-out classification series.

Ultimately, they were far too strong for Canada, running up 11 penalty corners, 21 shots on goal and 40 circle penetrations. Five first half goals laid the base with Rachel Kelly, Christina Hamill, Siofra O’Brien, Caoimhe Perdue and Emma Paul scoring before Yasmin Pratt made it 6-0 as Canada scrambled a late consolation.

“The whole game was so enjoyable,” said co-captain and player of the match Perdue. “We came out and played as a team and having a different goalscorer each time shows we link so well together. We need to keep this level of performance.”

Coach Passmore added: “I thought they were excellent from the start, putting pressure on them and going on the front foot. We were a lot calmer and more composed with the ball around the circle and goal shots which we hadn’t done in the first two games.

“We you go five-up relatively early, you can’t necessarily continue like that the whole game, especially when it is a tournament. You need to rest legs and rotate – what I am really pleased with is we have the squad of 20 and have rotated each game and there’s a really nice team feel to the group.”

The level of mismatch was on display from the outset with Kelly thumping in a first minute goal with a classy backhand strike, set up by O’Brien’s gliding run along the 23-metre line..

Christina Hamill, Nadia Benallal and O’Brien had great chances soon after before Hamill’s coolness saw her flick in the second in the 11th minute. O’Brien got her goal moments later from a penalty corner second phase, building a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

Perdue and Paul added to the advantage from set pieces as they ran up nine first half penalty corners, going into the break at 5-0.

Pratt’s wonderful strike off the baseline following a powerful and pin-point long pass from Benallal, making it a half dozen in Q3.

In energy-sapping heat, the pace died off in the closing quarter and Canada – against the run of play – got one back from something of a scramble, Jenna Berger’s push making it over the line despite the best efforts of Caitlin Sherin.

Ireland will now play either Malaysia in the ninth to 12th place playoff game on Saturday (2.45pm, Irish time). The winner of that ties will meet either Austria or Zimbabwe in the last game of the classification series.

Ireland: E McLoughlin, E Paul, S Cole, S O’Brien, R Kelly, M Power, C Perdue, A Elliott, C Hamill, S McAuley, K-J Marshall
Subs: N Benallal, S Murdoch, A Horan, Y Pratt, C Sherin, L Mulcahy, H Micklem

Canada: I Sekhon, S Sajko, J Goodman, I Fraser, R Carvalho, A Kuzyk, S McCrory, M Scholz, D Husar, J Berger, N Goddard-Despot
Subs: L McKinney, B Anderson, M Kennedy, H Malhi, M Stelling, A Goddard-Despot, T Guy