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Ireland defeat Turkey but miss out on top tier qualification

EuroHockey Championship qualifiers

Ireland 9 (B Walker 3, J McKee 2, S Murray 2, M Robson, L Madeley) Turkey 0

Ireland closed out their EuroHockey Championship qualifier with a comprehensive 9-0 win over Turkey but ultimately finished runners-up to tournament hosts France in Calais.
It means they will contest the second tier of the European Championships next summer which, on the current basis, could offer one place in the Olympic qualifier events for Paris 2024.

 

The first half against the Turks was a slightly sleepy affair befitting the 10am Saturday morning start. Sean Murray smacked in a fourth minute effort from Walker’s pass but, otherwise, they found Turkey’s deep-lying defence tricky to unpick.

 

That changed in the second half with eight more goals coming in the last 25 minutes. McKee got the credit for the second when he intercepted 40-metres from goal with his eventual cross turned in by a diving defender.

 

Walker deflected in a powerful hit from Neal Glassey; McKee finished off his 15th goal in 14 matches and Murray clipped in a tidy shot for 5-0 at the three quarter break.

 

Michael Robson’s penalty stroke, another smart finish from Walker and a Luke Madeley drag-flick made it eight. Walker completed the scoring with the pick of the goals in the dying seconds, a head-high volley from Daragh Walsh’s bouncing aerial ball into the circle.

 

And while coach Mark Tumilty was pleased with how his side finished, netting eight second half goals, the 4-1 loss to France was the defining memory.

 

“We were a bit slow to start which was expected after the disappointment of Thursday,” said Tumilty after the tie. “We played some good hockey in Q3 and Q4, scored some nice goals which is pleasing.

 

“But against France, we weren’t good enough. We can’t give a team of France’s standard a two-goal lead and expect to win the game. We can’t make the individual and collective errors and we didn’t create enough chances. You have to be clinical in a game of few chances.”

 

Next on the agenda is the FIH Nations Cup in South Africa which gets under way on November 28th. As such, the Irish men will be back together in two weeks time and have fixtures against England in October in the pipeline.

 

After that, they await the breakdown of continental places for the Olympic qualifiers which will be confirmed in late January

 

Ireland: M Ingram, L Madeley, J McKee, D Walsh, N Glassey, K Marshall, S Murray, M McNellis, J Duncan, B Walker, N Page

Subs: L Witherow, C Robson, K O’Dea, M Robson, J Lynch, S Hyland, J Carr

 

Turkey: M Teke, I Bakar, S Polat, R Kayar, F Atas, M Elagoz, H Tasar, E Durmus, O Karakus, M Ekinci, H Erdogan

Subs: Y Yilmaz, H Ozturk, C Aydin, B Erman, M Demirel, F Ozkurc, F Bursalioglu

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Irish men in Euro qualifiers game 2

Men’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers

Ireland 1 (L Madeley) France 4 (E Tynenez, G Baumgarten, C Sellier)

Ireland fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of France in Calais to leave their chances of qualifying for next summer’s European Championships top tier all but over.

 

The French hosts got off to a stunning start, netting twice in the first seven minutes, and were always in control from that point on, building a 4-0 lead before Luke Madeley pulled one back with 16 minutes left.

 

Their chance of A Division hockey is now a far-fetched one; they need to win their closing tie of the tournament on Saturday against Turkey and hope for a miracle from Lithuania – who lost 19-0 to Ireland – to defeat the French.

 

In reality, though, it looks like the Green Machine are destined for the second tier which they will hope still offers an Olympic qualifier ticket when the continental allocations are divided out in January.

 

In this tie, goals in the first seven minutes from Gaspard Baumgarten and Corentin Sellier created the big gap. The former profited when Sellier stole possession on the 23-metre line and set up the striker who powered in a shot from the right of the circle.

 

The second followed in quick succession as Francois Goyet nabbed the ball to break loose on the left wing and pumped in a cross which Sellier tipped home in the middle.

 

Ireland steadied in the second quarter but any comeback hopes were firmly shut down in the early stages of the second half.

 

A pin-point diagonal pass gave Xavier Gaspard space on the right baseline where he fired the ball to Etienne Tynevez to deflect in the third goal.

 

Tynevez made it 4-0 with 22 minutes to go from the penalty spot. Madeley got Ireland on the board when he whipped a drag-flick to the top right from their first series of penalty corners.

 

They attempted to push on in the closing quarter but the French defence stood firm to limit any route back into the contest.

 

Ireland: J Carr, L Madeley, J McKee, D Walsh, K O’Dea, K Marshall, S Murray, M Robson, B Walker, S Hyland

Subs: C Robson, N Glassey, M McNellis, J Duncan, J Lynch, N Page, M Ingram

 

France: E Reynaud, G Xavier, S Martin-Brisac, B Rogeau, V Lockwood, A Bellenger, F Goyet, E Curty, E Tynevez, V Charlet

Subs: S Branicki, J-B Forgues, C Sellier, B Marqué, T Clément, B Delemazure, A Thieffry

 

Umpires: S Michielsen (BEL), N Bennett (ENG)

 

Men’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers, Calais

Turkey 3 Lithuania 1; Ireland 1 (L Madeley) France 4 (E Tynenez, G Baumgarten, C Sellier)

 

Standings: 1. France 6pts (+15) 2. Ireland 3pts (+16) 3. Turkey 3pts (-10) 4. Lithuania 0pts (-31)

 

Saturday, August 27th

Turkey v Ireland, 9am

France v Lithuania, 11.15am

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Irish men record biggest ever international victory

Men’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers
Ireland 19 (L Madeley 4. J Duncan 3, J McKee 3, B Walker 3, M Robson 3, S Murray, D Walsh, L Witherow) Lithuania 0
Ireland’s men recorded their largest ever win as they swept aside Lithuania on day one of the EuroHockey Championship qualifiers in Calais.

Four goals from Luke Madeley along with hat tricks for Michael Robson, Jeremy Duncan, Jonny McKee and Ben Walker helped outdo the previous best of 13-0 against Malta in 2002 and Fiji in 2013.

They took the lead with barely 15 seconds on the clock with Madeley scoring from their first penalty corner chance.

Three further goals followed in a 39-second spell before the end of the first quarter for a 4-0 advantage. Duncan flicked home to start that run; skipper Sean Murray cracked home first time from a McKee assist and then McKee finished off a gorgeous interchange.

The second quarter proved harder to break through with just a Walker reverse-stick effort adding to the tally – 5-0 at half-time.

The record came into view in the third quarter with seven arriving in that 15-minute stanza as Lithuania were reduced to the role of spectators as they barely laid a stick on Ireland. Walker got his second while Duncan polished off a hat trick with a pair of goals within 45 seconds of each other.

Madeley’s second corner goal, a solo peach from Daragh Walsh and set piece efforts from Robson and McKee made it 12-0 with a full quarter remaining.

Madeley duly equalled the record with his third of the game and put Ireland over the total with eight minutes to go. Two more from Robson, one more each for McKee and Walker and a first international goal for Luke Witherow completed the 19.

It gave Ireland a winning start to the four-team competition from which the top side will qualify for next summer’s European Championships.

“I don’t think that scoreline is good for the game but we have to take into consideration in this tournament, there could be a lot of value on goal difference on Saturday morning,” Tumilty said afterwards.

“I am pleased we were clinical, executed some corners but apart from that, there is probably not a lot of value in it.”

Next up will be a completely different contest against the highest ranked side, France (11th in the world), with the winner likely to take control of the group.

“It is the one we spoke about since we came together in May and it is time for this group to produce a performance,” Tumilty said of that showdown.

“We have prepped well and the team know what is expected of them. We know there is a performance in there; corners will be a key area but we definitely have a good chance.”

Ireland: J Carr, L Madeley, J McKee, D Walsh, C Robson, K Marshall, S Murray, M McNellis, J Duncan, S Hyland, N Page
Subs: L Witherow, K O’Dea, N Glassey, M Robson, B Walker, J Lynch, M Ingram

Lithuania: N Andrasiunas, A Cesnulis, P Lakstauskas, A Burkot, M Pocevicius, R Stankevic, A Ridlauskas, A Jackevicius, J Bandziulis, E Ustinovicius
Subs: M Grubliauskas, P Sinkevicius, T Pabjianskas, I Balbatunovas

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Ireland on brink of Euro Championship qualification with win over Czechs

Ireland 1 (K Mullan) Czech Republic 0

Katie Mullan’s 21st minute goal has Ireland on the brink of qualification for the 2023 European Championships as they made it two wins from two at the Sport Ireland Campus this week with a 1-0 success over the Czech Republic.

She struck with a powerful backhand shot and while her side had numerous other chances to make the game safer, this was enough to record the win.

“It feels good,” said Mullan of the success. “It is only the second part of the job done but we have another big part of the work complete. Tomorrow is another big game and Turkey have some nifty players. A good performance today; we left a couple of goals out there but it was important to get the win.”

Ireland were in control from start to finish with the Czechs unable to muster a shot on Ayeisha McFerran’s goal but Ireland were unable to build on their first half lead to make the result safer, sooner.

“We are getting closer and closer to being a clinical side; there are a few of us up front who haven’t played a while lot together so we are building those connections. Each game, it feels like we are on the brink [of cutting loose]. We know we need to put more in the back of the net but, all in all, to be as in control as we were from the first to last minute was a big positive.”

Visiting keeper Barbora Chechakova produced some wonder saves before the goal, somehow denying Mullan from close range in the third minute with a sprawling block when the net beckoned.

The lively Deirdre Duke also went close while a rasping Mullan shot also hit the outside of the goal as the Czech goal led a charmed life.

Michelle Carey’s direct running was a constant source of pressure while Duke’s close range deflection was tipped over by Cechakova from a Sarah McAuley baseline cross.

And the goal inevitably arrived when Róisín Upton’s long overhead ball was not dealt with as the lurking Mullan picked up the ball and fired home on her backhand.

Cechakova continued her heroics with a diving intervention to halt Niamh Carey’s run through on goal. The half closed with Ireland’s first penalty corner, Upton’s drag blocked by the Czech netminder.

The second half was tighter though the hosts continued in the ascendancy with the Czechs unable to mount a circle penetration of note. Sarah Torrans went closest to doubling the score, her shot somehow saved by Chechakova’s instep in the 42nd minute.

Three more penalty corners came and went to no avail but the points always looked assured and they march on to Sunday’s final challenge of this round-robin competition, leading the group on six points and need a draw or better on Sunday against Turkey to qualifier for next summer’s top tier.

Turkey, for their part, lost 2-0 to Poland in their second game to sit on one point beside the Czechs. Maria Drozda opened the scoring in that contest with a smart finish close in. Marlena Rybacha then thumped home a penalty corner shot in the second half to complete the victory.

Mullan says the 33rd ranked Turks are not to be underestimated and are much improved since the sides last met in 2015 – a 13-0 victory for Ireland.

“The side we have seen the last few days is very different. They throw different things at you that we are not used to so we will suss them out and prepare for tomorrow’s game.”

And the Ballymoney woman is looking forward to seeing even more faces on the sidelines at the impressive Sport Ireland Campus venue where many kids enjoyed a meet and greet post-match with the Irish skipper and her team mates.

“It is fantastic to be here. We put a lot of training into this pitch but to play national games with a home crowd and so many young fans is brilliant.

“It’s fantastic when you ask the kids where they are from, they are from all round the country – it’s not just Leinster kids, there’s kids from Munster and Ulster and some from Connacht. It’s fantastic to see and we need to encourage this more to be able to repeat this at the Sport Ireland Campus.”

Ireland: A McFerran, S McAuley, M Carey, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, L Tice, N Carroll, C Perdue, D Duke, C Hamill
Subs: N Carey, H McLoughlin, S Torrans, C Beggs, K McKee, E Curran

Czech Republic: B Cechakova, K Lacina, L Duchkova, V Pribikova, K Topinkova, T Mejzlikova, V Novakova, A Lehovcova, A Kolarova, N Babicka, E Merxbauerova
Subs: K Basova, M Smidova, A Koziskova, A Vorlova, N Tlamsova, N Novakova

Women’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers (all at the Sport Ireland Campus)
August 20:
Poland 2 (M Drozda, M Rybacha) Turkey 0
Ireland 1 (K Mullan) Czech Republic 0

Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+4) 2. Poland 3pts (-1) 3. Czech Republic 1pt (-1) 4. Turkey 1pt (-2)

Sunday, August 21:
Poland v Czech Republic, 10.45am
Ireland v Turkey, 1pm

Photos:- Inpho Photography

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Ireland off to flying start in EuroHockey qualifiers

Women’s EuroHockey Championship Qualifier

Ireland 3 (R Upton 2, D Duke) Poland 0

Ireland recorded a strong opening win in the Women’s EuroHockey Championship Qualifier B at the Sport Ireland Campus to head their group after day one.

 

Deirdre Duke opened the scoring in the second quarter with a deft touch to Katie Mullan’s cross and Róisín Upton added her 22nd and 23rd international goals to put the result beyond doubt.

 

It has Ireland top of the group after day one following a 1-1 draw between Turkey and Czech Republic, putting them in pole position for the one ticket to next summer’s European Championships, a key waypoint on the road to Paris 2024.

 

“It was always going to be a really tough game because we know the importance of these games and that brings a bit of stress. To get the result is really positive,” said coach Sean Dancer.

 

Poland – ranked 27th in the world, 14 places below Ireland – offered a new challenge to the Green Army, one which took the hosts took a while to break down.

 

In the first quarter, Michelle Carey and Hannah McLoughlin both had shots brilliantly saved by Marta Kucharska while Katie Mullan poked a chance wide.

 

They went in front after 19th minutes when Duke got the deftest of touches from a move set in motion by Caoimhe Perdue and crossed by Mullan.

 

Upton then slung home a powerful drag-flick from the Green Army’s second corner of the game to give extra daylight. Poland, though, fought back in the second half and had a couple of key chances which Ayeisha McFerran dealt with confidently.

 

Ireland missed out on two glorious chances to make the game extra safe with both Ellen Curran and Mullan denied at point-blank range by sub goalkeeper Anna Gabara.

 

It left some tension in the contest until Upton repeated the feat in the closing minutes with another low bullet for 3-0.

 

“We are playing a tournament where we don’t really understand the opposition and so there is a lot of figuring out and a little bit of chess playing in the game,” Dancer said of the challenge.

 

“We got the better of the first half and they probably got the better of the second. 2-0, we were never fully safe and they still had a chance. Their keeper made some really good saves and if we had put one away, the game would have been done a bit earlier.”

 

Ireland face the Czech Republic on Saturday morning in their second fixture of the tournament at 1pm at the Sport Ireland Campus before completing the competition on Sunday against Turkey.

 

Ireland: A McFerran, S McAuley, M Carey, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, H McLoughlin, L Tice, N Carroll, C Perdue, D Duke

Subs: N Carey, S Torrans, C Beggs, K McKee, C Hamill

 

Poland: M Kucharska, M Drozda, A Katerla, J Balcerzak, M Rybacha, M Polewczak, S Tatarczuk, W Blaszyk, B Strubbe, N Suszynska, D Mazur

Subs: M Czujewicz, A Szot, D Skoraszewska, K Diurczak, M Pabiniak, P Slawinska

 

Women’s EuroHockey Championship Qualifier

Czech Republic 1 (T Mejzlikova) Turkey 1 (P Küçükkoç)

Ireland 3 (R Upton 2, D Duke) Poland 0

 

Standings: 1. Ireland 3pts (+3) 2= Czech Republic 1pt (0) 2= Turkey 1pt (0) 4. Poland 0pts (-3)

 

August 20:

Poland v Turkey, 10.45am

Ireland v Czech Republic, 1pm

 

August 21:

Poland v Czech Republic, 10.45am

Ireland v Turkey, 1pm

Tickets : https://bit.ly/EHCQ_Tkts

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Irish Under-21 men focus on promotion target in Czech Republic

The Irish Under-21 men’s side travel to the Czech Republic this weekend for the EuroHockey Championships II, looking to land promotion back to the top tier of continental actino.

 

With Belarus and Russia excluded from the competition, they face a six-team tournament, battling for one of the two promotion places on offer with Turkey, Wales, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic hosts.

 

It will play out in one round-robin group phase and Joe Brennan, the head coach, says it is a very significant competition, not just for their own aspirations but for teams further down the line.

 

“It’s vital for Irish hockey and the men’s programme,” Brennan said ahead of the side’s departure on Friday.

 

“It is vital to get up to the A division because the way things work with World Cup qualification [for 2023], the only route is through the top tier. It means there is a cohort of guys, like where we are now, who will never get that opportunity to play in an Under-21 World Cup.

 

“Hopefully, if we go up, there are definitely guys here who can come back in two years time and can have a run at the World Cup 2025.”

 

Brennan was actually part of the last Irish men’s to play in a Junior World Cup in 2001 in Tasmania. Back then, the side drew with Australia and just missed out on a quarter-final spot to a late England goal.

 

They ended up with three wins and a draw from their eight games and was a significant developing ground for future senior internationals like Brennan, John Jermyn and David Hobbs.

 

And Brennan adds having that kind of target in mind is hugely important: “It gives a real reason for anyone in that under-18 squad for them to train, to commit to a programme for two to three years, knowing there is a reason to buy-in to 24 to 36 months with a real goal at the end of it. It’s a key age group and a key tournament. It is this group you will be looking at for your LA Olympics [in 2028].”

 

The side has a healthy look to the future with a dozen teenagers included, five of whom were still in school until June while Rex Dunlop has another year to go at King’s Hospital.

 

Mark Collins and Ian Perrott were both part of the Bandon Grammar School side who won the All-Ireland Schoolboys Championship earlier this year. They are among a trio of Munster players along with former Waterford man Ian Balding – now with Cork C of I – who will be a key figure in the defensive line-up.

 

Bar injury, Louis Rowe would have been in opposition for Banbridge Academy in that schools final but he is back in good shape for this tournament, adding to a busy summer for his family – his twin brother Charlie is currently making inroads with the senior setup.

 

Ollie Kidd and Johnny Lynch are part of the line-up following a hectic year, winning five trophies with their club, Lisnagarvey. Lynch made his senior international debut in June against Italy while Kidd was in the Irish indoor side who played in European competition in the winter.

 

All told, Ulster have seven representatives – Portadown goalkeeper Scott Dale linking up with Annadale duo James Clark and Patrick Rose as well as Bann’s Mark Cowan.

 

Craig Mackay is another dual international having played for the Irish Under-21 indoor side in January. He is among eight players who won the interprovincial series with Leinster, lifting the trophy along with goalkeeper Ross Clarke (Monkstown), Adam Walker (YMCA), Mark Duggan (Pembroke), Josh Filgas (UCD), Scott Ruttle (YMCA) and Evan Jennings (Three Rock Rovers).

 

In terms of preparation, the panel came together formally in March for the first time with a training camp in Belgium before ramping up preparations in the past five weeks from their base at Corinthian’s Whitechurch Park whom they are indebted to for the support for this programme.

 

Their schedule included fixtures against the English Over-35s, the Irish senior team and, last week, against Scotland’s Under-21s who are playing this week in the top tier.

 

Each series has seen results improve each day, closing the gap to the senior team while they won their second of two games with Scotland to finish preparations on a high.

 

“The guys have all bought into it and trained ridiculously hard, pushing the boundaries for themselves, probably more than they have had to do before. It has been excellent – they have put in a huge, honest effort and I couldn’t be happier with where they are as a group.

 

“For this particular age group, Covid has been a difficulty [over the past two years]. A lot have missed out on school and the first year of college life so we gave them a two-week break during the programme to go on holidays, enjoy themselves, and then asked them to come back for five hard weeks which they have all done.

 

“I felt it was the best way for the guys to come back hungry and to experience some of the life they hadn’t had at the age they are. They all came back fully committed, physically and mentally, and they have come a long way.”

 

As for their opposition in Plzen Litice, research is hard to come by but they have picked up video of the Polish Under-21s who face the Irish Under-18s last week – a 2-1 win for Poland – as well as Wales in action against the Scots. The Czechs will likely play a similar style to their senior team with the same coaching team in place.

 

But these tournaments are typically a journey into the “unknown” and managing that is high on Brennans’s agenda.

 

“We have worked really hard on our defensive game because the B division is really difficult to get promoted as we have seen on the last couple of occasions for the Under-21s and even at senior level.

 

“The players must approach each game with the same level of desire and intensity and concentration, regardless of opposition, giving each opponent the respect they are due because they have different styles, are technically different, or come from a country with a history of good hockey.

 

“Everything is cyclical at Under-21s and anyone can have a really strong group; you don’t know how it will work out. The idea is to get these guys into a really positive mindset to work to become really difficult to beat. If we are strong enough defensively then, we have some quality players, to take advantage of our opportunities up front.”

 

Irish Under-21 men’s team for the EuroHockey Junior Championships II (all in Plzen Litice, Czech Republic)

Scott Dale (Portadown)

Ross Clarke (Monkstown)

Adam Walker (YMCA)

Mark Duggan (Pembroke)

Mark Collins (Cork C of I)

Ian Perrott (Bandon)

Scott Ruttle (YMCA)

Oliver Kidd (Lisnagarvey)

Rex Dunlop (Three Rock Rovers)

Josh Filgas (UCD)

James Clark (Annadale)

Patrick Rose (Annadale)

Evan Jennings (Three Rock Rovers)

Craig Mackay (Corinthian)

Louis Rowe (Banbridge)

Ian Balding (Cork C of I)

Jonathan Lynch (Lisnagarvey)

Mark Cowan (Banbridge)

 

Head Coach Joe Brennan

Manager: David Howard

Assistant coach: Michael Styles

Physiotherapist: David McCrea

Video technician: Ross Howard

 

Men’s EuroHockey Junior Championships II (all in Plzen Litice, Czech Republic)

Sunday, July 24: Ireland v Turkey, 10.30am

Monday, July 25: Ireland v Czech Republic, 5pm

Wednesday, July 27: Ireland v Poland, 2.45pm

Friday, July 29: Ireland v Wales, 11.45am

Saturday, July 30: Ireland v Italy, 9am

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Irish Under-21 side take on EuroHockey Junior Championships in Ghent

With the last Junior World Cup only three months in the rear-view mirror, the Irish Under-21 women are already back on the qualification trail at this week’s EuroHockey Junior Championships in Ghent.

 

The top five from the Euros – which run from Sunday, July 24 to Saturday, July 30 – will all earn their place at Chile 2023.

 

Ireland will look to build on the experience of April’s World Cup in South Africa with 12 of the panelists eligible once again for this next cycle. The newcomers, meanwhile, saw plenty of action at the highly competitive Uniphar Five Nations tournament in Belfield in June.

 

This tournament takes on a standard eight-team format with the top two from the initial four-team groups advancing to the semi-finals and earning a World Cup place into the bargain.

 

Miss out on one of those places, the next challenge will be to win Pool C which brings the winner the final ticket to Chile.

 

Ireland’s initial group is a tough one, featuring the World Cup silver and bronze medalists. Nonetheless, they will take confidence into their opening tie against England from their performance against the same opposition in Potchefstroom when they meet on Sunday.

 

A day later, they face Scotland before closing out the preliminary phase against Germany, second placed in April, in the third fixture.

 

“Having the Junior World Cup silver and bronze medallists highlights how tough our group is and emphasised by a recent series lost against Scotland who make up the pool,” said coach David Passmore.

 

“The team has worked hard in recent weeks, spurred on by the World Cup in Amsterdam and with the memories of the recent JWC 9th placed finish. Many of that Junior World Cup group have moved on but some of the younger additions have really stepped up.

 

“The Uniphar 5 Nations provided a great opportunity for further development and coupled with a hard physical period we will be ready to go against England who we narrowly lost to in South Africa.

 

“It was disappointing for Lisa Mulcahy to miss out due to a leg injury as she contributes so much on and off the field but this highlights the importance of having depth in terms of numbers and positional flexibility.

 

“It will be key for us to get our set pieces right and take our chances in front of goal while defending smartly in our own circle”

 

In terms of selection, goalkeepers Ellie McLoughlin and Holly Micklem have both been in and around the senior panel this year and provide an excellent last line of defence.

 

KJ Marshall, Emma Paul and Siofra Murdoch are augmented in the backline by Lucy Crowe and Caoimhe Byrne with Ellen Reid in for a second Euros having also played in the last edition in 2019.

 

Paul will co-captain the side along with Catholic Institute’s Anna Horan with the Limerick woman operating between defence and midfield.

 

In midfield, Sophia Cole and Amy Elliott are experienced hands at Under-21 level. Ali Griffin will bring her pace to proceedings in this area following an outstanding season with Pembroke but they will miss Lisa Mulcahy who picked up an injury last week to rule her out of contention as is Eva Lavelle.

 

Pegasus’s Niamh McIvor and Old Alex teenager Mikayla Power will operate between the mid and forward lines.

 

Up top, World Cup players Rachel Kelly and Aoife Taaffe will link up with Cork Harlequins Leah O’Shea and Trinity’s Laura Noble.

 

Senior internationals Sarah McAuley and Charlotte Beggs are still underage for this category but are currently on a rest period following their involvement in the senior squad at the World Cup.

 

The tournament will be live-streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org.

 

Ireland Under-21 squad for Women’s EuroHockey Junior Championships (July 24 to 30, Ghent)

Ellie McLoughlin (VC, UCD)

Holly Micklem (Old Alex)

Caoimhe Byrne (UCD)

Lucy Crowe (Railway Union)

KJ Marshall (UCD)

Emma Paul (Co-Capt, UCD)

Ellen Reid (Loughborough Students)

Siofra Murdoch (Harvard University, USA)

Sophia Cole (UCD)

Amy Elliott (UCD)

Anna Horan (Co-Capt, Catholic Institute)

Alison Griffin (Pembroke)

Leah O’Shea (Cork Harlequins)

Aoife Taaffe (Loreto)

Niamh McIvor (Pegasus)

Laura Noble (Trinity)

Rachel Kelly (UCD)

Mikayla Power (Old Alex)

 

Head Coach: David Passmore

Manager: Lorraine McGowan

Coach/stand-in manager: Una McCarthy

Coach: Steven Arbuthnot

Coach: Niamh Small

ATT: Rachel Dipeolu

S&C/Physiologist: Ali Meeke

Performance Analyst: Aaron Passmore

 

Fixture schedule (all times Irish)

Sunday, July 24: Ireland v England, 10 am

Tuesday, July 26: Ireland v Scotland, 11 am

Wednesday, July 27: Ireland v Germany, 12.15 pm

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Ireland bow out of World Cup with eleventh place finish

Women’s World Cup ninth place playoff

Ireland 1 (M Carey) China 3 (C Yang, Z Jiaji, C Yanhua)

Ireland finished the women’s World Cup in 11th place overall following a tough final day loss to China who struck twice in the last 10 minutes to pull clear at a scorching hot Wagener Stadium.

 

For periods, the Green Army made most of the running but China’s half-court defence and greater accuracy in the two circles made the difference. Chen Yang’s corner goal in the seventh minute broke the deadlock before Zhong Jiaji and Chen Yanhua stretched the scoreline out before Michelle Carey’s sliding touch got one back in the final throes.

 

The 11th place finish comes with the small consolation of putting Ireland above their pre-tournament ranking and they will hope to use this experience when they face August’s European qualifier tournament in Dublin.

 

“It took us to be 1-0 down to start to play how we wanted,” said Sean Dancer, reflecting on the result.

 

“We did enough to get back into it in the third quarter; we had good opportunities and put them under pressure but if you don’t score, it’s always hard.

 

“Overall, we played a couple of good games against the top teams in Holland and Germany but didn’t get any results. The next step is to get some points. Disappointed about not finishing the Chile game which was key for us. Great for the highs of beating South Africa but we didn’t put everything out there today so it is a sour taste in the mouth.”

 

China were out of the blocks quicker, winning the first of eight penalty corners in the first half in the early stages. Ireland’s defence in this facet of the game was strong with Sarah Torrans – despite heavy bandaging on her knee – charging down a series of shots.

 

But they could not keep out a neat move in the seventh minute when Ma Ning turned smartly onto her backhand and slipped the ball across for Chen Yang to deflect home.

 

The Green Army gave as good as they got in a stop-start first quarter. Hannah McLoughlin’s corner shot did find its way in via Naomi Carroll but illegally so with a free out given and Deirdre Duke’s shot cleared the crossbar in a good phase of attacking waves.

 

The second quarter was tighter still with chances at a premium outside of corner chances for either side, McFerran up to the challenge.

 

The scoreline remained the same through Q3 which was far more engaging. China hit the post from their ninth corner but it was brief respite for the Asian side as Ireland piled on the pressure for this 15-minute phase.

 

Michelle Cary and Duke led the line brilliantly, hassling at every turn to help effect a string of well-placed turnovers while Duke also made work Liu Ping work, as did Róisín Upton with a corner drag-flick.

 

But they were left with a mountain to climb – with Sarah McAuley in the sin-bin – when Zhong Jiaji’s penalty corner drag made it into the bottom of the backboard. And the game was out of sight in the 52nd minute when Zhang Xindan slipped the ball into the path of Chen Yanhua who swept home first time.

 

Ireland kept fighting and did get one back with two minutes to go, a lovely Carey touch to an Upton push at corner time to close out the result.

 

The match itself was special for Ayeisha McFerran becoming the joint most capped Irish female goalkeeper – alongside Emma Gray on 118 caps – while Siofra O’Brien made her debut, coming in for the injured Caoimhe Perdue.

 

McFerran paid tribute to Gray and her influence on her career: “I had no idea about it. Emma was brilliant and I learned a lot from her whenever I was coming in and she set the tone for me as a goalkeeper, an athlete and a goalkeeper coming through.

 

“To be up there with Emma is a real honour because she was a stalwart of goalkeeping for hockey in Ireland for a long time.”

 

As for O’Brien, it was a bittersweet start to her capped international career: “Obviously a disappointing result; we wanted to get the win. Personally delighted to get my first cap and what an honour to get to do it at a World Cup with this group of girls.

 

“This week was tough for Erin [Getty] and I. The girls have been great and rallied together and it was still a squad of 20, never just the 18 plus two [reserves], sticking together. You don’t wish an injury on anyone and obviously it was awful for Caoimhe after a great tournament for her but it isn’t an easy place as a reserve.”

 

The next step is to now regroup and take the experiences from this event into next month’s European Championship qualifiers in Dublin from August 18th to 21st, a key step on the road to Paris 2024.

 

“We always knew it would be the case – World Cup and then Euro qualifiers which is extremely important. We have do well there and qualify. That sets up the long road to Paris and the long-term goal. We’ll take a few days to recover but we have to be prepared for that one. It will be a fight every game in Dublin and qualification is the only option.”

 

Ireland: A McFerran, M Carey, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, H McLoughlin, S Torrans, L Tice, N Carroll, S O’Brien, E Curran

Subs: S McAuley, Z Malseed, C Beggs, K McKee, D Duke, C Hamill, L Murphy

 

China: L Ping, Q Cui, Y Gu, M Liang, X Zhang, J Zheng, N Wang, H Yang, Y Chen, T Luo, J Zhong

Subs: B Gu, J Li, N Ma, X Zhang, M Yuan, Y Chen, X Li

 

Umpires: E Yamada (JPN), A Rostron (RSA)

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U18 Squad for 8-Nations Tournament in Frankfurt

From July 11th to 17th, the U18 Boys will compete in a 8-Nations in Germany. They will compete in group A alongside Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. 

11. JULY

Ireland v Netherlands – 15:30

13. JULY

Ireland v Austria – 17:00

14. JULY

Ireland v Germany – 17:30

 

Player
Province Club School
Allen Lyons Ulster Annadale Hockey Club Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Ben Pasley Leinster Three Rock Rovers HC The High School
Ben Pollock Ulster Banbridge Hockey Club Banbridge Academy
Cian Dorgan Munster Cork C of I HC Ashton
Conor Matthews Ulster Annadale Hockey Club Sullivan Upper
Conor Murphy (GK) Leinster Avoca Hockey Club Newpark
James Evans Ulster Banbridge Hockey Club Banbridge Academy
Josh Gill Leinster Three Rock Rovers Wesley College
Mackenzie Connor Ulster Lisnagarvey Hockey Club Friends’ School Lisburn
Mark Cuddy Ulster Cookstown Hockey Club Cookstown High School
Matthew McKee Ulster Banbridge Hockey Club Banbridge Academy
Matthew Stevenson Ulster Banbridge Hockey Club Banbridge Academy
Patrick McElhinney Ulster Annadale Hockey Club Methodist College Belfast
Rhys Armah-Kwantreng Leinster Monkstown HC St Andrew’s College
Sam Dale Munster Cork Harlequins HC Bandon Grammar
Scott Hosick (GK) Ulster Lisnagarvey Hockey Club Friends’ School Lisburn
Tiarnan Gaffney Munster Catholic Institute HC Villiers School
Tommy Dobson Ulster Banbridge Hockey Club Banbridge Academy
Non-Travelling Reserves:
Alex Lynch
Leinster Three Rock Rovers The High School
Harry Dagg Leinster Avoca Temple Carrig
Sam Chapman (GK) Leinster YMCA Wesley College
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Mullan’s troops looking to finish World Cup on a high

Katie Mullan says there is still a “burning desire” within the Irish women’s team to show what they are capable of as they prepare for two classification matches to close out their World Cup campaign in Amsterdam.
On Sunday at 12pm (Irish time), they will face either Germany or South Africa – who meet on Saturday evening – in the first phase of the 9th to 16th place qualifiers with Ireland hoping to outdo their pre-tournament ranking of 12th.
“We didn’t want things to go like this but the difference between this and the last World Cup is that there’s still something very important to play for,” Katie Mullan said of these fixtures.
“I really do still believe in this group and there is a lot more to show. It’s important we come out in the next two games and show that.
“It’s important we stay switched on and everyone has a burning desire to still play the hockey we are capable of playing at this World Cup. We are grateful to still be here and competing.”
In the wider context, the fixtures will give Ireland’s young players a chance to get more time together to build cohesion and understanding with a number of big tournaments on the horizon.
In August, Ireland will play in the European Championship qualifiers in Dublin and then will face the inaugural FIH Nations Cup in December in Spain, all important milestones along the road to a push for Paris 2024.
And while Ireland did bow out of the main competition in the World Cup group stages, Ellen Curran says it can be used as part of the team’s growth.
“Personally, despite the results, I have really enjoyed the tournament. I finally feel like I fit in within the team and am getting comfortable in that right back position.
“We did have fun against Germany; we did have really good periods of play; it’s just not connecting in the final 25. We still have games to go and we will try and prove a point in those and we have the makings of a really good side.”
Women’s Hockey World Cup
9th to 16th place playoffs
Sunday: Ireland vs Germany/South Africa, Wagener Stadium, 12pm (Irish time)