U16 Boys Six Nations Tournament – Day 2 Round Up

Ireland 4 England 3

Ireland got off to a perfect start and took the lead when Troy Chambers scored in the first minute. England managed to exert some pressure and won two consecutive corners but the Irish defence led by Ross Clarke in goal stood firm. The English pressure eventually led to a goal scored by Tom Moorhouse from close range. Despite some good chances for Ireland toward the end of the quarter, the score remained 1-1.

Chambers followed his great start to the first quarter by scoring again in the first minute of the second, latching on to a through ball before slotting it beyond Oliver Smart in the English goal. Ireland defended strongly for the remainder of the half to lead 2-1 at half-time.

In the third quarter, a heavy tackle outside the circle led to a penalty corner which was flicked home by Chambers for his third of the game in the 33rd minute, giving Ireland a 3-1 lead. Ireland won two further corners in the last 5 minutes of the quarter but could not extend their advantage despite England being reduced to 10, when Ellis Robson received a yellow card for a stick challenge.

Ireland’s Conor Quinn received a yellow card in the 3rd minute of the final quarter, followed by a green card for Troy Chambers and Ireland were down to 9. England took full advantage winning a penalty corner, which was deflected home by Tom Moorhouse to make it 3-2. Shortly afterwards, Rory Penrose of England saw yellow after a push on Kevin O’Dea and England substituted Oliver Smart in goal in search of an equaliser. Ireland continued to press and Evan Jennings touched home a driven ball to make it 4-2 to Ireland. Late pressure from England resulted in a penalty corner which was flicked home by Ellis Robson with less than a minute to go. Ireland lost another player when Robert Sweetnam was shown a yellow card for time wasting and England were given one final chance to score but after a goal-mouth scramble, Ireland were eventually given a free out as the final whistle was blown.

In the first game of the day, Spain took an early 2-0 lead against Belgium before the Belgians pulled one back in the 3rd quarter. Spain won a penalty stroke in the final quarter, which was dispatched by Oriol Bozal to make the score at full-time 3-1. Germany and the Netherlands played out a 1-1 with both goals coming in the first half. In the shoot-out for a bonus point, Germany took the spoils with a 3-1 win.

Results:

Spain 3 (Cabre; Amat; Bozal) – Belgium 1 (Van Bavel)

Germany 1 (Sperling) – Netherlands 1 (Visser) (Germany won the penalty shoot-out 3-1)

Ireland (Chambers (3); Jennings) – England (Moorhouse (2); Robson)

Fixtures: Wednesday 18th July

09.00 England v Germany (Girls)

11.00 Netherlands v Belgium (Girls)

13.00 Ireland v Spain (Girls)

15.00 Ireland v Spain (Boys)

17.00 England v Germany (Boys)

19.00 Netherlands v Belgium (Boys)

Photo Credit – Trevor Collins

Get To Know The Green Army Goalkeepers

Ayeisha McFerran

Debut: January 11, 2014 vs Spain

Caps: 73

International goals: 0

Current club: University of Louisville

Previous club: Larne, Randalstown, Pegasus

School: Larne Grammar School

Position: Goalkeeper

Ayeisha McFerran became the youngest goalkeeper to play for Ireland when she lined out against Spain in January 2014 a day after her 18th birthday. Since then, she has developed a reputation for being an immense shot-stopper, particularly in shoot-outs. Indeed, she made her name in that realm at the 2015 World League when she was brought in specifically for a shoot-out against Canada, winning it and a gold medal in the process. She has taken on the number one role for the most part since Emma Gray’s retirement in 2016. She started her hockey career with her hometown club of Larne, progressing to Randalstown and then Pegasus with whom she won the 2015 goalkeeper of the tournament at the IHL finals. Since then, she has been based at University of Louisville where she has been named an All-America first team selection on 3 occasions.

Grace O’Flanagan

Debut: 2012

Caps: 34

International goals: 0

Current club: Railway Union

Previous club: N/A

School: Loreto Foxrock

Position: Goalkeeper

Grace O’Flanagan played a vital role in Ireland’s qualification for the World Cup when she famously saved a penalty stroke with her first touch against India at the World League Semi-Finals in Cape Town, coming off the bench for the sin-binned Ayeisha McFerran. Ireland trailed 1-0 at the time but fought back to win 2-1. O’Flanagan is a qualified doctor, something which meant she had to step away after the panel a couple of times for study reasons in the early part of her international career. She was part of the 2013 European Championships panel before stepping back for three years, returning to the fold in 2016. She has usually been the reserve goalkeeper but took on the number one role at the 2017 Europeans in Amsterdam.

Click here for the official World Cup site.

U16 Six Nations Tournament, Cork – Day 1 Round Up

U16 Girls Six Nations Tournament

Ireland 0 Netherlands 3

Ireland began the game brightly with some promising attacks led by Isabelle Maleady and India Cotter before the Dutch took control and began to pressure the Irish defence. After a couple of fine saves and clearances by Irish goalkeeper Holly Micklem, the Dutch took the lead in the 10th minute from a penalty corner through Jill Niessen.

Ireland continued to impress in attack and were somewhat unlucky to concede from another penalty corner in the 26th minute from a Mikki Roberts drag-flick leaving the score at half time at 2-0 to the Netherlands.

In the 39th minute, Kim Hendrix made it 3-0 with a neat finish pushing the ball beyond Micklem. While the Dutch continued to press, Ireland defended strongly into the fourth quarter with no further goals being scored.

Speaking after the game coach Brendon Carolan said “I am pleased with the progression and feel the team will continue to improve as the week goes on. The gaps between the stronger sides will narrow as these players move through to Under 18s and gain more experience.”

In the first game of the day, Spain and England shared eight goals in a 4-4 draw, with England shading the penalty shootout 4-3. This was followed by a 5-0 victory for Germany over Belgium.

Results:

Spain 4 (Martinez Torres; Pena Martinez; Alba Anotnana; Barba Armengol) – England 4 (Klugmam; Alexander; Polley; Chapple). England won the shootout 4-3.

Germany 5 (Fischer; Weidemann; Prumbaum; Strauss; Fleschuetz) – Belgium 0

Ireland 0 – Netherlands 3 (Niessen; Roberts; Hendrix)

Fixtures: Monday 16th July:

12.00 Spain v Belgium

14.00 Germany v Netherlands

16.00 Ireland v England

U16 Boys Six Nations Tournament

Ireland 2 Netherlands 5

Ireland and the Netherlands opened the boys’ tournament in Cork in damp conditions in the Mardyke. The Netherlands opened the scoring after 4 minutes from a penalty corner when goalkeeper Ross Clarke initially saved but could not stop the follow up from Guus Jansen.

Just 4 minutes later, Troy Chambers won a penalty corner for Ireland which led to a penalty stroke after a Dutch stick tackle. Craig Mackay slotted home to make it 1-1. The lead was restored a minute later when Ivo Vasser got on the end of a crossed ball to deflect home to make it 2-1 to the Netherlands. Pim Haring then dispatched a penalty corner to make it 3-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Ireland dominated the second quarter and created several good chances before Luka Peters neatly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 3-2 to the Netherlands at half time.

The Dutch started the second half strongly and Hidde Parleviet scored 2 goals in 3 minutes to make it 5-2 to the Netherlands after 6 minutes.

In the fourth quarter, Ireland picked up a yellow card for Troy Chambers before the Dutch went down to 9 players with 2 yellow cards in 2 minutes. Just 2 minutes later, the Dutch were reduced to 8 with another yellow card given and Ireland dominated play but could not capitalise on their numerical advantage and the match finished Ireland 2 Netherlands 5.

After the game Niall Denham said “we can definitely take a lot of positives from the game but we are disappointed we didn’t we did not push them closer and we are looking forward to improving throughout the week.”

Four second half penalty corner conversions saw Spain beat England 4-0. In the last game of the day, Belgium scored a late winner from a penalty corner to beat Germany 2-1.

Results:

Ireland 2 (Mackay; Peters) – Netherlands 5 (Jansen; Visser; Haring; Parlevliet (2))

Spain 4 (Bozal (3); Gonzalez) – England 0

Germany 1 (Poljaric) – Belgium 2 (Ofrim; De Bolle)

Fixtures Tuesday 18th July:

12.00 Spain v Belgium

14.00 Germany v Netherlands

16.00 Ireland v England

Photo Credit – Graham Catchpole

U16 Six Nations Tournament, Cork – Day 2 Round Up

U16 Girls Six Nations Tournament

Ireland 0 England 4

England started brightly and won a corner after just two minutes, which Beth Alexander dispatched with a straight strike. England kept the pressure on and won four further corners in the first half but the Irish defence stood strong and the score remained 1-0 at half time.

Two further goals from Beth Alexander gave England a 3-0 lead at the end of the third quarter. Caitlin Polley added another just in the 51st minute after some sustained pressure on the Irish defence making it 4-0 at fulltime.

In the opening game of the day, Spain lost to Belgium 2-1 having taken a first quarter lead. This was followed by a highly competitive game between Germany and Netherlands, with Germany taking a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes remaining. Netherlands scored with a minute to go and Germany held off a late attack to win 4-3.

Results:

Spain 1 (Casado de la Fuente) – Belgium 2 (Barry; Struyf)

Germany 4 (Weigand; Fleschuetz (2); Strauss) – Netherlands 3 (Van Loon; Winter; Dicke)

Ireland 0 – England 4 (Alexander (3); Polley)

Fixtures: Wednesday 18th July

09.00 England v Germany

11.00 Netherlands v Belgium

Get To Know The Green Army Defence

Shirley McCay

Debut: January 2007 v Canada

Caps: 267

International goals: 6

Current club: Pegasus

Previous club: Ulster Elks, KHC Dragons, Old Alex, Omagh

School: Omagh Academy

Position: Defence/Midfield

The most capped female sportswoman in Ireland, Shirley McCay is now in her 11th year as part of the Irish team, providing a wealth of experience and a tenacious attitude combined with an eye for a long pass from the back. She has gone through three tough Olympic qualifying campaigns, narrowly missing out on places at 2012 and 2016, and six European Championships before finally getting to the promised land with this World Cup qualification, a just reward for her enduring efforts. McCay was part of the side that won silver at the Champions Challenge I in Glasgow in 2014. In her early days, she went to school at Omagh Academy, helping win their only Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championship in 2005. She went on to have two successful spells with Ulster Elks, winning two Irish Senior Cups, either side of a spell at KHC Dragons in Belgium and time in Dublin with Old Alex.

Zoe Wilson

Debut: January 2016 v Spain

Caps: 73

International goals: 8

Current club: Belfast Harlequins

Previous club: Randalstown, University of Syracuse, Harvestehuder THC

School: Ballyclare HS

Position: Defender

Zoe Wilson has been a key component of the Irish defence since she broke into the team in 2016 following a season in the US with Syracuse University where she won an NCAA Championship. It followed an incredibly successful youth career, captaining Ireland’s Under-18s to an unbeaten victory at the EuroHockey Youth Championships II in Italy in 2015. An impressive showing at the Hawkes Bay Cup in 2016 saw her cement her place in the senior squad and she made her ranking tournament debut in January 2017 at the World League Round 2 in Malaysia, playing 33 times for Ireland during the year. She had initially come to prominence when she scored the winning goal in the Ulster Schools Senior Cup for Ballyclare HS at just 14. After school, she moved from her club, Randalstown, to the USA before returning to Europe, spending a year in Germany with Harvestehuder THC before linking up with Belfast Harlequins.

Roisin Upton

Debut: November 2016 v Scotland

Caps: 40

International goals: 8

Current club: Cork Harlequins

Previous club: Catholic Institute, UConn Huskies

School: Crescent Comprehensive College

Position: Midfield/defender

Roisin Upton is a relative newcomer to the Irish team, making her debut in November 2016 before establishing herself as one of the driving forces in either midfield or defence. She had been on Graham Shaw’s radar for a long time from her performances at youth level and the coach twice tried to get her involved but for a hip injury in 2015 and then a stress fracture in early 2016 to delay her introduction. Those calls came following an incredible spell in the US where she won two NCAA titles – named an All-American both times – with the UConn Huskies, captaining the side in 2015. Just a month after her debut, she went straight into the tournament squad for World League Round 2 in Malaysia, the start of the World Cup qualifying process. She grew up in Limerick, captaining Crescent Comprehensive College to the Munster title and helped Catholic Institute break up Cork Harlequins’ monopoly of Munster club success.

Elena Tice

Debut: November 2016 v Scotland

Caps: 68

International goals: 6

Current club: UCD

Previous club: Loreto

School: St Gerard’s

Position: Defender

Despite her tender years, Lena Tice has already amassed over a combined 100 caps across cricket and hockey. She made her cricket debut at just 13 and 272 days and went on to win 40 caps across T20 and ODIs before turning her focus to hockey. On that front, she debuted a fortnight before her 18th birthday but quickly established herself in the national set-up, earning selection for the Hawkes Bay Cup in April 2016 just a couple of months before her Leaving Certificate. The defender has a wide range of passes and has been an almost ever-present since her debut. She led St Gerard’s to a first-ever Leinster schoolgirls Senior Cup title in 2015, scoring the winning goal in the final, and was head girl a year later before earning an Ad Astra scholarship to UCD. She was born in England and lived in USA and Austria before her family settled in Wicklow.

Yvonne O’Byrne

Debut: January 2014 v Spain

Caps: 113

International goals: 5

Current club: Cork Harlequins

Previous club: n/a

School: Mount Mercy

Position: Defender

The dynamic defender has been a pivotal part of the Irish side since her major tournament debut in 2015 at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Valencia – the World League Semi-Final. The Cork woman has helped her country to gold at the 2015 EuroHockey Championships II in Prague and World League Round 2 in Malaysia and, since June 2017, she has played in over 28 consecutive games for Ireland. She took up hockey at Mount Mercy where she made the senior team at the age of just 14, winning the All Ireland Schools Kate Russell Cup that same year. O’Byrne captained Munster at each underage level as well as her club, Cork Harlequins, when just 20, winning the Munster senior league.

Megan Frazer

Debut: June 2008 v Wales

Caps: 128

International goals: 30

Current club: Mannheimer HC

Previous club: Ballymoney, Ulster Elks, University of Maryland Terrapins

School: Foyle and Londonderry College

Position: Defence/Midfield

One of the most talented players Ireland have ever produced, Irish coach Graham Shaw will hope Megan Frazer can put her injury woes behind her after a nightmare 20-month run. A cruciate knee ligament injury has kept her out for that time and while she returned to action in May at the European Cup with her club side, Mannheimer HC, she since had complications which required further keyhole surgery. In her youth, she was highly decorated during her time at Foyle and Londonderry College, top scoring on the hockey field for three seasons and leading the school to a maiden Ulster schools title in 2009. She also excelled at soccer and cricket at youth level and was named the Derry & District Young Sportswoman of the Year for 2005/06. It saw her elevated to the national team while still in school and she played in the 2009 Euros before departing for the US and the University of Maryland Terrapins. There, she was a three-time All-American and won the NCAA Honda Sports Awards as the nation’s best player. She was made Irish captain in 2014 by coach Darren Smith at the age of 23 and led the side to Champions Challenge I silver in Glasgow. In 2015 in Valencia, she came within a width of a post of sending Ireland to a first Olympic Games, her shot rebounding out in a shoot-out against China, an effort that would have sent the team to Rio. On the club front, she helped Ballymoney reach the Irish Senior Cup final before moving to the US and then won the title with Ulster Elks on her return. She moved to Mannheim in 2016 but sustained her injury soon after. Megan returned to international action after almost 2 years away as she played in the recent fixtures against Italy and Chile.

Hannah Matthews

Debut: June 2014 vs Italy

Caps: 108

International goals: 4

Current club: Loreto

Previous club: n/a

School: Loreto Beaufort

Position: Defender

Daughter of Irish rugby international Phillip, Hannah Matthews reached her 100th international cap in June in the series against Canada at Serpentine Avenue. Her ranking tournament debut came in front of a home crowd at World League Round 2 at Belfield in 2015 where she was part of a defence that conceded just twice in six games. That year ultimately ended in disappointment at the World League Semi-Finals. From 2015 to now, she has been part of each ranking event, providing an ice cool calmness. On the club front, aged 18, she memorably scored the winning penalty stroke to win Loreto – her only club – the Irish Senior Cup, showing nerves of steel. More recently, she captained the Beaufort club to the EY Champions Trophy in May. She combines an international hockey career with her work as a primary school teacher.

Click here for the official World Cup website.

Honours Even For The Green Army And Italy

Pembroke, Dublin

Ireland 2 (Evans, Wilson

Italy 2 (Vynohradova, Carta)

The Green Army came out of the blocks firing in their final home game before the World Cup as they won an early couple of penalty corners but credit to the Italians runners both Shirley McCay’s and Zoe Wilson’s efforts were blocked. Katie Mullan made a superb interception and then fed the ball to Deirdre Duke in front of goal; the shot appeared to be stopped on the line by a foot but in the scramble the ball was cleared. Italy took an unlikely lead in the 16thminute when a scuffed shot by Maryna Vynohradova deflected into the goal. But it took less than 20 seconds for Ireland to respond as Mullan sent a high reverse into the circle and Nikki Evans somehow managed to get a stick to deflect it just under the crossbar. Wilson gave her side the deserved lead from their third penalty corner as her power strike from the top of circle was driven low into the corner.

The game evened out somewhat in the second half as Italy won 2 penalty corners in quick succession but Grace O’Flanagan made two fine saves. Katie Mullan made a run from her own half into the 25 and sent a pass across the circle for the waiting Evans but the ball just missed her outstretched stick. Federica Carta drew the game level as she chipped over O’Flanagan after the initial PC strike was saved. The short corners seemed to come thick and fast for Italy then as they amassed a total of 8 but the Irish defence didn’t relent. The chances were equally notching up for the Green Army with Ali Meeke’s deflection going just wide and Hannah Matthews PC strike skimming past the post. Mullan won her side one final PC in the dying minutes of the fixture but the shot was sent high and wide.

Starting: N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, A McFerran, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Bryne, M Frazer, E Beatty, C Watkins, D Duke, A Meeke

Green Army Beat Chile In 3 Nations Opener

3 Nations, Dublin

Ireland 1 (Beatty)

Chile 0

Ireland were the far livelier of the two in the opening half and could have taken the lead on more than one occasion. The ever-threatening Anna O’Flanagan picked up a long pass from Hannah Matthews but her reverse strike went across goal. Megan Frazer, playing her first senior international test in nearly 2 years, looked as sharp as ever as she sent passes through the eye of a needle and proved a potent threat with Zoe Wilson. Katie Mullan, earning her 150thcap this evening, was leading the charge as usual and won numerous long corners setting up attacks into the Chilean circle. Naomi Carroll drew a super save from Claudia Schuler as she deflected a ball in front of goal, Carroll was again on hand with some superb 3D skill to pick up a ball in the circle and fire a reverse volley. Each team won 1 penalty corner in the opening half; McCay’s sweep going wide for Ireland and Elene Tice making a save on the line from Carolina’s Garcia’s close range shot on the post at the other end.

The goal very nearly came in the opening minutes of the second half when O’Flanagan burst into the circle and sent a reverse strike goalward but Evans deflection put it inches past the post. 2 PC’s in quick succession for the Green Army looked likely to break the deadlock but Schuler again made a good save and Wilson’s strike was sent wide. Mullan was next to test the Chilean defense as she sent her reverse shot into the side netting. The goal came in the 43rdminute as Matthews sent a pinpoint reverse into the circle and Emily Beatty deflected the ball high into the net to give her side the lead. Grace O’Flanagan didn’t have a huge amount to do throughout but when called upon she made a superb diving save from a PC strike. The Green Army could well have extended their lead with the skills of Nicci Daly breaking open the Chilean backline but Schuler made 2 further saves from Evans close range effort.

Ireland’s next match is on Saturday at 2pm against Italy in Pembroke.

Starting: G O’Flanagan, N Evans, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson

Subs: Y O’Byrne, M Frazer, N Carroll, E Beatty, A McFerran, C Watkins, A Meeke

Green Machine Put 5 Past USA

UCD, Dublin

Ireland 5 (Magee x2, O’Donoghue, Duncan, Robson)

USA 1 (Kaeppler)

2 goals inside the opening 66 seconds stunned America and the crowd at UCD as the Green Machine asserted their dominance. A penalty corner in the 29thsecond appeared to be deflected in by Sean Murray though Shane O’Donoghue was formally awarded the goal. Seconds later and Eugene Magee had doubled the lead as he chipped Jonathan Klages from the right baseline. Matthew Nelson created the third with a powerful run down the left wing and a high reverse into the circle that Jeremy Duncan somehow got a stick to send it past Klages. It was 4-0 before half time, Magee again the scorer, this time with a powerful PC drag from Ireland’s third PC. USA got their goal on the cusp of half time with a well worked penalty corner of their own, Kei Kaeppler with the drag flick to take some of the sting out of the scoreline at the half.

The goals maybe have eased up in the second half but the Irish dominance of possession didn’t relent. Paul Gleghorne and Jonny Bell controlled play from the back with Shan O’Donoghue picking out passes at will. The majority of the time Fitzgerald was the only Irish man in his own half as the Americans were put under continuous pressure. Alan Sothern drew a superb high stick save from Jonathan Klages as he spun his marker and sent the ball aiming for the top corner. Michael Robson made it 5-1 as he went on a mazy run around the top of the circle to shoot on his reverse low into the corner. The Green Machine notched up a few more penalty corner chances but couldn’t quite add to their tally.

The two sides meet again tomorrow evening at 7pm in Pembroke Wanderers.

Starting: J Bell (Captain), S O’Connor, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, J McKee, M Robson, D Fitzgerald, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, S Loughrey

Subs: J Carr, L Madeley, M Nelson, A Sothern, D Walsh