Women’s International Squad Announced for Euro Hockey Champs

The Irish Women’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the Euro Hockey Championships which will get underway later this week in Antwerp.

After a strong training block together and several international training matches, the following squad has been selected:

 Name

1. Ayeisha McFerran

2. Roisin Upton

3. Nicola Evans

4. Katie Mullan (C)

5. Shirley McCay

6. Elena Tice

7. Gillian Pinder

8. Bethany Barr

9. Chloe Watkins

10. Elizabeth Colvin

11. Nicola Daly

12. Hannah Matthews

13. Elizabeth Murphy

14. Sarah Hawkshaw

15. Anna O’Flanagan (VC)

16. Zoe Wilson

17. Deirdre Duke

18. Alison Meeke

Speaking on the squad selection Head Coach, Sean Dancer, said, “We have had a good preparation period leading into this competition, with the opportunity to push and develop our squad with a number of International games.

Our selection has plenty of experience and we will be expecting them to stand up when it counts and make the most of our opportunities.

The Euro Hockey Championship is an excellent competition with Olympic qualification for the winner, this is a great challenge that our group is looking forward to.”

Vital World Ranking points are at stake for all teams in this tournament as the Olympic Qualification process heats up. The Green Army will take on England, Germany and Belarus in Pool B of the Championship with their opening match against England taking place on Sunday 18th of August at 11:15 local time.

All Euro Hockey Championship matches will be streamed live on EuroHockeyTV at: https://www.eurohockeytv.org/en-int/schedule

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For more information on the Belfius Euro-Hockey Championships, see: http://www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/

The full match schedule can be found at http://www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/calendar/

Men’s Squad Announced for Euro Hockey Championships 2019

Hockey Ireland Announce Men’s Senior International Team for upcoming Euro Hockey Championships in August.
The Senior Irish Men’s Hockey squad was unveiled this morning for both their upcoming Euro Hockey Championships campaign in Antwerp this August, as well as their Four Nations tournament in Spain at the end of this month.

Vital World Ranking points are at stake for all teams in this tournament as the Olympic Qualification process heats up. The Green Machine will take on the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland in Pool B, with their opening match against the Netherlands taking place on Saturday 17th of August at 15:45 local time.

The squad selected is as follows:

Name

1. James Carr.

2. Mark Ingram.

3. Jonathan Bell.

4. Lee Cole.

5. John Jackson.

6. Stuart Loughrey.

7. Paul Gleghorne.

8. Conor Harte.

9. Tim Cross.

10. Daragh Walsh.

11. Shane O’Donoghue.

12. Stephen Cole.

13. Kirk Shimmins.

14. Michael Robson.

15. Ben Walker.

16. Jeremy Duncan.

17. Eugene Magee.

18. Sean Murray.

Reserve. Matthew Nelson.

Reserve. Matthew Bell.

Speaking on the squad selection Head Coach, Alexander Cox, said, “I’m happy to announce the team that will contest the Euro Hockey Championships for Ireland. There are some different names in the squad in comparison to our FIH Series Finals earlier this summer. I’m content that this squad is, at this moment, our best squad and I expect we will do well in the coming weeks; however, there are still some decisions to be made around our goalkeepers for Europeans. The upcoming Four Nations tournament will be a good opportunity to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for European Championships.”

The Men will head to Spain ahead of the Euro-Hockey Championships campaign for a Four Nation tournament, taking on Spain, England and Malaysia.

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For more information on the Belfius Euro-Hockey Championships, see: http://www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/

International Weekend Round Up

International Test Match Women’s:

Match 1: Ireland 7 (Z Wilson 2, E Curran, K Mullan, A Meeke, D Duke, L Colvin) Italy 0

The Irish Women’s pre-European Championship preparations took a marked step forward as they hammered Italy 7-0 at Stormont in the driving rain.

It came against a side that they often struggled against, recording two wins in their last eight meetings with the last three outings producing draws.

In terms of a result, though, this was done and dusted early on. Zoe Wilson banged home two penalty corner hits in the first 11 minutes. From a fourth corner before the end of the first quarter, Wilson hit goalward again and Ellen Curran – elevated from last week’s Under-21s in Valencia, along with Liz Murphy, finished it off.

A lovely Sarah Hawkshaw run down the line picked out Serena Barr who picked out Katie Mullan for a fourth goal before half-time as Italy struggled for meaningful periods of play.

The goals continued to flow in the second half with a turnover on the edge of the D opening an opportunity for Hawkshaw who held up play and picked out Ali Meeke for number five.

Deirdre Duke was an unused sub in the first half but was used to great effect as an “impact player” in new coach Sean Dancer’s rotation. She struck from the top of the circle for 6-0 and Lizzie Colvin got the seventh with 21 minutes to go.

There were big chances for more spurned while Italy did have one major chance skip wide of an open goal to keep Murphy’s clean sheet in place.

Head Coach Sean Dancer was delighted with the performance “Italy is certainly an improving team; they may not have had much preparation since the World Series or, as some teams do, go through their dips. I don’t think it was a true indication of where they are at.

For us, it was really pleasing to see a lot of things we have been practicing unfold in a game. Winning an international game 7-0, you have got to be happy.”

Ireland: L Murphy, R Upton, N Evans, K Mullan, L Tice, G Pinder, S Barr, L Colvin, S Hawkshaw, Z Wilson, A Meeke

Subs: S McCay, B Barr, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, E Curran, D Duke

Match 2: Ireland 4 (N Evans 2, S Hawkshaw, D Duke) Italy 1 (C Ruggieri)

Ireland’s women ran up another strong win over Italy at Stormont in substantially better conditions than their weekend encounter.

Nikki Evans was on form securing the opening goal of the game in the 13th minute from a lovely cross from Roisin Upton, who managed to run up the right hand side taking on a series of Italian defenders before providing Evans the opportunity to deflect home.

The visiting side brought a greater challenge than their weekend endeavour, with Emma Buckley defending the goal well in the second quarter. However, the Italy’s Giulianna Ruggieri managed to get the ball past her straight into the bottom corner to give Italy the equaliser.

Although Nikki Evans played well to get the ball back into the Italian circle, the opportunity was defended solidly by Italian Captain Chiara Tiddi. Goalkeeper Natalia Schinoni saved well Chloe Watkins managed to take a shot at the goal at close range in the 30th minute, closing out the quarter with half-time remaining 1-1.

The third quarter saw Evans restore Ireland’s lead early on. Emma Buckley produced another strong save shortly afterwards to defend the Green Army’s lead. A penalty corner to Ireland was dragged wide by Upton in the 37th minute. A following penalty corner won by Katie Mullan was saved by Schinoni as Hannah Matthews went in to deflect. Another penalty corner was awarded, and the Irish drag flick was saved again.

A penalty corner to Ireland in the opening minute of the final quarter saw Sarah Hawkshaw find the back of the net. A number of penalty corners in Ireland’s favour were awarded, with two saved from attempts by Zoe Wilson, and a third from Roisin Upton also saved by the Italian Goalkeeper. Deirdre Duke secured the final goal of the match in the 58th minute for the final score of Ireland 4 – 1 Italy

The Green Army will head to Belgium on August 7 – 9 to the Euro Hockey Championships tournament venue for matches against Belgium before the squad’s final selection is confirmed on August 11th.

Ireland: E Buckley, R Upton, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, B Barr, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke

Subs: Y O’Byrne, C Watkins, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, E Curran, S Barr

International Test Match Men’s: Ireland v Scotland

The Irish Men took on Scotland this weekend in a two-match series in Glasgow.

Match 1: Scotland 1 (K Bain) Ireland 1 (B Walker)

The first match saw Ireland draw 1-1 with both Tim Cross and Peter McKibbin making their debuts for Ireland in very wet conditions.

The tough conditions prevented either side from creating any clear opportunities in the early stages, with the teams looking evenly matched in the opening stages of the match.

Ireland forged an opportunity towards the end of the first quarter but the effort was well saved at the near post by Tommy Alexander; sending the ball into the air and over the bar.

Ireland opened strong in the following quarter, however Alexander was on form, producing a top class save getting his left pad infront of the ball to keep the sides even.

Ben Walker forced the ball home in a crowded D to put Ireland on the scoreboard and give a 1-0 lead to the visitors with 13 minutes to go.

However, Scotland’s Kenny Bain scored the equaliser when he lifted the ball home at the far post for 1-1 with six minutes to go.

Match 2: Scotland 1 (A Forsyth) Ireland 2 (J Duncan, B Walker)

Match two saw John Jackson receive his 250th cap for Ireland, with Michael Robson also receiving his 100th cap.

The Irish Men opened well. The first opportunity of the game coming from a penalty corner, with Lee Cole sending the ball just over the bar. It wasn’t long before Jeremy Duncan was applying serious pressure to Scottish keeper David Forrester, who double saved well to keep Ireland from taking the lead. The first was a reaction stop to his left, before getting to his feet and having to dive to his right to save the rebound.

A penalty corner to Scotland saw Alan Forsyth strike from a rebound to make it Scotland 1-0 Ireland.

Jeremy Duncan was on hand again early in the second quarter deflecting a Michael Robson ball into the top left corner to equalise for Ireland. Shane O’Donoghue presented another opportunity a minute later, although Scotland’s Forrester prevented Ireland from taking the lead at this point.

While early in the second half Ben Walker supplied a clinical finish into the bottom right corner to give Ireland the lead.

The final quarter saw Forsyth with the opportunity to equalise for Scotland but the wall went wide from a tight angle. While another penalty corner opportunity for Scotland was blocked on the line. Shane O’Donoghue was denied a last-minute goal with his flick at the goal blocked by Murray Collins, having already rounded the keeper.

Ireland: D Fitzgerald, J Jackson, J Bell, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, L Cole, S Cole

Subs: T Cross, M Nelson, K Shimmins, P McKibbin, J Duncan, S Loughrey M Ingram

 


Both teams will head to Antwerp in August to compete in the European Continental Championships, with important world ranking points at stake for each squad.

The Women’s team will take on England, Germany and Belarus in Pool B; and the Men will play the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland in their Pool B.

The Belfius EuroHockey Championships will take place from the 16th to 25th of August in Wilrijkse Plein, Antwerp. You can find more information on the tournament at //www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/

Before that, the Men’s squad will head to Spain to play in a Four Nations Tournament against Spain, England and Malaysia.

Ireland Men to take on Scotland in two match series.

The Green Machine travel to Glasgow for a two match series against Scotland this weekend, with matches scheduled for 3pm Saturday and 12pm Sunday.

The squad is as follows:

  • Mark Ingram
  • David Fitzgerald
  • Jonathan Bell
  • John Jackson
  • Lee Cole
  • Paul Gleghorne
  • Matt Bell
  • Peter McKibbin
  • Stuart Loughrey
  • Tim Cross
  • Shane O’Donoghue
  • Stephen Cole
  • Daragh Walsh
  • Kirk Shimmins
  • Sean Murray
  • Michael Robson
  • Matthew Nelson
  • Ben Walker
  • Jeremy Duncan
  • Johnny McKee

The Men’s squad will then prepare for an invitational four nations in Barcelona from the 1st to the 4th of August where they will play England, Malaysia and Spain, as part of their preparations for the 2019 EuroHockey Championships which get underway from the 16th to 25th of August in Wilrijkse Plein, Antwerp. You can find more information on the tournament at //www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/

Ireland runners up to France in FIH Series Finals

Ireland runners-up to France in FIH Series Finals but Olympic Qualifier Secured.

Ireland 1 (S Murray), France 3 (V Charlet 2, B Rogeau)

Having secured their Olympic qualifier spot yesterday with a 4-2 win over Korea, the Irish Men were runners-up today to host nation France.

In hot and humid conditions, it was Ben Walker and Sean Murray with one of the opening opportunities for Ireland in the first quarter. With a save by Thieffry, France were the first to make their mark on the scoreboard with a goal from Blaise Rogeau. It wasn’t long before Murray had another attempt, this time hitting the post. However, Ben Walker had him set up again moments later to give Ireland the equaliser.

France took the lead in the second quarter with Victor Charlet putting the ball in the goal after a scramble from a French penalty corner. Ben Walker and Michael Robson both made their presence clearly felt in this quarter while Ireland looked to continue with good energy and pace ahead of half time.

Victor Charlet put a second goal away for France in the third quarter, also from a penalty corner, to give the hosts a two-goal lead. Although the quarter ended Ireland 1-3 France, the final seconds were marked by a great chance for France with a save from David Harte rebounding, Paul Gleghorne stretching across the line on his knees to keep the ball out of the goal and Lee Cole ensuring it was pushed out of harm’s way before the whistle blew.

Ireland seemed to gain momentum again in the close quarter. A penalty corner in the final two minutes presented an opportunity, however Shane O’Donoghue, receiving it from Ben Walker, sent it slightly wide of the posts and France took the victory by two goals.

In the individual tournament awards, Shane O’Donoghue was presented with the award for top goal-scorer of the tournament, shared with France’s Victor Charlet.

Speaking on the match, Head Coach Alexander Cox said, “I’m not happy. We simply played a bad game from the start and couldn’t turn it around. We made way too many mistakes on the ball and our decisions were not quick enough.

We trailed the game from the start and couldn’t change it. This was one of those games where it simply wasn’t good enough. Overall I’m disappointed with this performance.”

However, with an Autumn Olympic qualifier now secure, the focus moves towards European’s in August where Ireland will face a tough Pool challenge against Germany, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, L Cole, S Cole

Subs: J Carr, M Bell, L Madeley, M Nelson, M Robson, N Glassey, C Harte.

France: A Thieffry, P van Straaten, T Genestet, H Genestet, S Martin Brisac, V Lockwood, C Masson, A Bellenger, G Baumgarten, F Goyet, V Charlet

Subs: B Rogeau, N Dumont, JB Forgues, E Tynevez, T Ponthieu, M Branicki, C Saunier.

Ireland Men Secure Olympic Qualifier with 4-2 win over Korea

Ireland Men Secure Olympic Qualifier in the Autumn with 4-2 win over Korea in Le Touquet.

Ireland 4 (M Nelson, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, N Glassey) Korea 2 (B Jeon, S Lee).

The opening quarter of the match saw few chances for either team, with little separating the sides in the heat. Byungjin Jeon put Korea on the scoreboard in the 25th minute from a penalty corner, giving them the lead. However, a touch from Sean Murray provided just enough of an opportunity for Matthew Nelson to tap the ball into the goal ahead of half-time.

The Green Machine seemed to come back to the pitch with a renewed energy putting another two goals away in quick succession, making it three goals from three minutes of game time. A clear increase in Ireland’s control of the game saw Daragh Walsh supply a lovely pass to Ben Walker who then managed to feed the ball perfectly to Eugene Magee to send it home and put Ireland in the lead. Eugene Magee was on hand again shortly afterwards to provide Shane O’Donoghue the opportunity to further extend his international goal scoring record making the score 3-1 in Ireland’s favour. However, a penalty corner goal by Seungil Lee saw Korea close the gap slightly before the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter held a few missed opportunities for Ireland, with shots from both John Jackson and Shane O’Donoghue going wide of the goal. Tensions rose in the final five minutes of play when earlier Korean goal scorer Byungjin Jeon ran down the left of the pitch towards the Irish circle. Paul Gleghorne’s defence resulted in him receiving a yellow card and Korea being awarded a penalty corner. Failing to convert the penalty corner to a goal, Korea removed goalkeeper Jaehyeon Kim shortly afterwards making it 11 outfield players against 9. Ireland played strong defensively in the closing minutes of the game managing to move the ball back up the pitch in the final 30seconds of play. Neal Glassey had a short almost unchallenged run to put the ball into an empty Korean goal with the majority of Korean players remaining in the Irish half of the pitch, making the full-time score 4-2 to Ireland.

Speaking about the match, Head Coach Alexander Cox said, “I’m massively proud of the work ethic of the team, especially the way we managed to grind out a win today.

I also saw some very good hockey in stages, particularly in the third quarter, with three goals in three minutes of play giving us a good lead.

This is a massive step for us securing the qualifier in the Autumn. This was our aim coming here and we’ve achieved it against a tough and strong Korea. Now we wait to see who we will face in the final tomorrow evening.”

Ireland will play either Scotland or France in the final tomorrow evening at 17:00 Irish time.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne

Korea: J Kim, N Lee, S Cho, S Lee, T Hwang, J Lee, M Jung, E Hong, S Lee, J Jang, K Kim,

Subs: W C Ji, G Kim, S Kim, H Kim, J H Kim, J Yang, B Jeon

Irish Men beat Singapore 11-0 to secure a Semi-final on Saturday

Ireland 11 (S O’Donoghue 3, C Harte 2, S Cole 2, L Cole, M Nelson, L Madeley, B Walker) Singapore 0.

After a disappointing meeting with Egypt on Sunday the Irish Men’s squad picked themselves up to defeat Singapore 11-0. 26-year-old Shane O’Donoghue, Ireland’s all-time leading goal scorer, not only provided a hat-trick for himself by the third quarter but also surpassed the 100 international goal mark, making him the first Irish Hockey player to do so, as Ireland top Pool A and secure a semi-final spot for Saturday.

Shane O’Donoghue put Ireland on the scoreboard within the opening minute of the game from a penalty corner. The Irish Men dominated possession in the opening quarter with goals from Conor Harte and Matthew Nelson making it 3-0 to Ireland before the first quarter whistle blew.

The goals kept coming in quarter 2 with Magee and Walker passing around the Singapore circle to provide Stephen Cole the opportunity to finish. A backhand from Shane O’Donoghue gave youngster Ben Walker a chance to touch the ball into the goal to bring Ireland to a 5-0 lead.

Ireland continued to dominate possession throughout the match against a noticeably weaker Singapore, with another five goals in the 3rd quarter. O’Donoghue secured a hat-trick for himself by the third quarter and reached 101 international goals for himself for Ireland. Both Stephen Cole and Conor Harte managed to put away their second goals of the match, while Luke Madeley also got a drag flick from a penalty corner behind Singapore’s Sandran bringing the third quarter to a close with a 10-0 lead to Ireland.

After a sweeping move up the field and several shots at the goal, the closing minute of the game saw Lee Cole make the final result Ireland 11-0 Singapore.

Speaking on the result, Head Coach Alexander Cox said, “We knew we needed to score at least four goals today to top the table. We scored 11 which is a good result.

After the big disappointment of losing to Egypt we needed to show ourselves that we are capable of reaching the qualifier play-offs for Tokyo. We did that today. We did so because we were focused from the start and stayed focused until the end.

Now we need to prepare ourselves for a big game coming up.”

Today’s result means the Irish men have topped their Pool and will move straight to the semi-final stage on Saturday, with their opponent to be decided on Thursday from the 2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A cross-over match. Saturday’s match will be live streamed on the FIH website at: https://fih.live/view/event/48386

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne

Singapore: B Asali, E Marican, J Grewal, D Vijayan, S Noor, A Zul’kepli, F Johari, M Cheong, B Kahar, N Ng, G Sandran,

Subs: W X Wee, A Ibrahim, N Kumar, Z Zulkarnan, H Vijayan, N Teo, S Muhammad

Irish Men defeated by Egypt in FIH Series Finals Pool Match.

Ireland 1 (J Jackson) Egypt 2 (M Adel, A Abd Elhakim)

After a solid performance against Scotland in their opening game, the Irish men had hoped to build on that performance against Egypt in their second match of the World Series Finals. The first quarter saw Ireland dominate possession with the stubborn Egyptian defence frustrating the Irish attack until the 13th minute when Ireland won their first penalty corner through Ben Walker. The resulting drag flick was saved, and the sides remained level at the end of Q1.

Egypt began the 2nd quarter brightly with some good attacking play but it was Ireland who took the lead after 19 minutes when Shane O’Donoghue’s reverse side shot was deflected in by John Jackson after Ireland’s second corner broke down. However, Egypt were back on level terms just 4 minutes later when Mohamed Adel beat the Irish penalty corner defence with a drag flick. Egypt forced another corner in the 27th minute which was saved leaving the sides level at half time 1-1.

Ireland began the 3rd quarter well and created a good chance in the 34th minute when Shane O’Donoghue’s reverse side cross was narrowly deflected wide. Both sides traded attacking opportunities and Egypt won a penalty corner 2 minutes before the end of the quarter which was saved by the David Harte leaving the score 1-1 with 15 minutes to go.

In the 48th minute, Egypt took the lead through Ahmed Abd Elkahim when a free outside the Irish circle was taken quickly and the Egyptian beat several Irish defenders to slip the ball past Harte.

Ireland increased the pressure on Egypt in the remaining 10 minutes in search of an -equaliser winning a penalty corner in the 51st minute. O’Donoghue’s flick was saved by Sayed in the Egyptian goal before the rebound was hit wide. Ireland had a further opportunity in the 56th minute with another penalty corner but the ball was not stopped properly and Egypt were able to defend the resulting shot.

After the game, Ireland head coach Alexander Cox commented “We didn’t show up in the first half and that can’t happen.

We improved in the second half and tried everything to break them. We had enough chances to score more than one, but we didn’t. Credit to Egypt.

We’re massively disappointed but we are still in the tournament.”

Ireland’s final pool game is on Tuesday at 14.45 when they take on Singapore. All matches are being streamed on the FIH website at: https://fih.live/view/event/48364

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: J Carr, M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne

Egypt: M Sayed, M Edris, M Mansour, A Ibrahim, A Ezz, A Sayed, A Said, A Abd Elhakim, M Ragab, A Elganaini, M Adel

Subs: K Atef, A Gamal, A Mohsen, M Ragab, A Elhady, W Metwalli.

Irish Women Runners-up to Korea in FIH Final in Banbridge.

Irish Women Runners-up to Korea in FIH Final in Banbridge, but Olympic qualifier in Autumn Secured. Ireland 1 – 3 Korea.

Ireland 1 (N Daly) Korea 3 (H Kim, E Cheon, J Kang)

A tight opening half had the two teams 0-0 at half time despite both sides having a few chances to score. A brilliant pass by Roisin Upton in the first quarter gave Chloe Watkins a shot at the Korean goal, but Korean goalkeeper Soo Ji Jang managed to get her foot to the ball preventing Ireland getting on the scoreboard. Yuri Lee from Korea also found a chance for herself at the opposite end of the pitch, although McFerran was on hand to keep the match nil all. The Green Army seemed to progress as the quarter advanced but the Korean defence remained strong throughout.

The second quarter saw a lovely chance for O’Flanagan, provided by a pass from Deirdre Duke, however Korea’s Jang saved it well. A Penalty Corner for Korea and Hyoju An managed to shoot for the goal but McFerran saved and sent it out wide. Brown provided an excellent pass to Upton who’s drag flick saw the ball in the back of the goal, however an obstruction caused the goal to be disallowed.

Shirley McCay and Zoe Wilson provided noticeable interceptions in the lead up to half time. While McFerran was more active throughout this match than any other over the tournament in Banbridge and her skills were put to good use.

Ireland really applied the pressure in the opening minutes of the third quarter but a robust defence by Korea kept them at bay. As the quarter progressed Korea seemed to up the tempo and Hannah Matthews and Roisin Upton became instrumental in Ireland’s play.

The final quarter provided goals from Hyunji Kim and Eunbi Cheon before Nicola Daly managed to get one over the line in a third attempt in an Ireland Penalty Corner. Although Ireland’s decision to pull the goalkeeper to increase their outfield numbers proved un-advantageous as Korea’s Kang managed to put the ball in an empty net to seal the win.

Despite the result the Irish Women’s Olympic qualification ambitions remain unscathed with the squad safely through to a direct qualifier in the Autumn.

Speaking on the match, Interim Head Coach Gareth Grundie said, “Overall we played well. I felt like we were the better side for the first three quarters. Korea started very well and were very strong in the final quarter. It wasn’t to be today.”

In terms of what’s to come and how he’s found his time as Head Coach, Gareth said “I’ve really enjoyed the last few months. We’ve made lots of progress and the girls have been great, as have the staff, so we’re in a good position moving forwards.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do in the coming months and working with Sean [Dancer]. We’ve Europeans and an Olympic qualifier to look forward to so the focus will now move to those.”

The FIH Series Finals individual player awards were awarded as follows:

  • Hero Top Scorer – Anna O’Flanagan (6 Goals), IRL, #26
  • Best Player – Anna O’Flanagan, IRL, #26
  • Best Junior Player – Yohanna Lhopital, FRA, #8
  • Best Goalkeeper – Mathilde Petriaux, FRA, #31.

Ireland: A McFerran, R Upton, K Mullan, S McCay, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: C Brown, L Tice, G Pinder, S Hawkshaw, D Duke, A Meeke, E Buckley.

Korea: S J Jang, Y Lee, H An, E Cheon, J Kang, E Cho, Y Lee, H Jang, H Cho, H Shin, S Lee

Subs: J Seo, S J Choi, S Kim, E Yu, H Kim, S Kang, Y Choi.

Strong start for Ireland’s Men with 4-2 win over Scotland

Ireland 4 (E Magee 2, S O’Donoghue, M Robson) Scotland 2 (D Riddell, K Bain)

Ireland’s men got their FIH World Series Final tournament in Le-Touquet-Paris-Plage off to a strong start with a solid performance against Scotland this morning.

Eugene Magee opened the scoring in the 2nd minute with a neatly taken reverse shot with Ireland dominating possession in the opening stages of the game. Scotland managed to equalise through Duncan Riddell in the 7th minute after their first penalty corner broke down and the ball was scrambled into David Harte’s goal.

Ireland continued to dominate possession during the first quarter and the pressure paid off when with just 2 minutes to go, Shane O’Donoghue scored from a penalty corner making it 2-1 to Ireland at the break.

Despite some good pressure from Ireland during the 2nd quarter, they were unable to extend their lead before half time despite winning 2 penalty corners in quick succession before the hooter.

Ireland began the 3rd quarter brightly and Magee extended the lead, shooting low into the bottom corner in the 35th minute. Just a minute later Scotland won a corner which was converted by Kenny Bain to make it 3-2. Michael Robson’s well taken upright reverse shot in the 40th minute restored Ireland’s 2 goal advantage before the end of the 3rd quarter.

Neither side managed to add to the goal tally in the 4th quarter and it finished 4-2 to Ireland.

Speaking on the result, Head Coach Alexander Cox said, “I am happy with the result and the way we played today. A first game at a tournament is always a difficult one and we handled that well.

We have clear objectives on and off the ball which we wanted to see today. I saw some great counter-attack chances. Out 1-0 was one of them.

I’m also happy with the individual performances, which makes a team. There are still points to improve, especially in our defensive structure, but overall a very good start against a well organised and good Scottish side.

The next battle is now our focus, Egypt tomorrow.”

Ireland take on Egypt in their 2nd match of the tournament tomorrow (16th June) at 12:30 Irish time as they continue their journey on the Road to Tokyo.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne

Scotland: T Alexander, M Bremner, A Bull, R Anderson, R Harwood, K Bain, C Falconer, A McQuade, N Parkes, D Riddell, C MacKenzie
Subs: C Duke, C Golden, G Byers, R Shepherdson, E Greaves, M Collins, D Forrester

Matches are being streamed live on the FIH website: https://fih.live/view/event/48364