Graham Shaw names panel of 29 hockey players for trip to Spain
Teenagers Sarah Torrans, Emma Buckley, Ellen Curran and Erin Getty in panel
UCD’s Deirdre Duke, and Gillian Pinder and Ellen Curran of Monkstown at the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Harlequins’ Emma Buckley making a save against Pegasus. Buckley is named in the panel of 29 players for the trip to Spain. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho
The Irish squad heads for the Costa del Sol this weekend for a four-match series against Spain which forms part of both nations’ build-up to this summer’s World Cup.
Coach Graham Shaw has named a large panel of 29 players for the trip, with four teenagers included – Sarah Torrans (Loreto), Emma Buckley (Cork Harlequins), Ellen Curran (UCD) and Erin Getty (Queens).
Having already played each other 11 times in the past two years, including twice as recently as November, the Spanish are familiar foes for Ireland, but have got the better of the encounters, winning eight of the 11 games. The teams meet next Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Before then the bulk of the squad will be on Hockey League duty for their clubs on Saturday, with Loreto facing the formidable task of taking on a UCD side that has seven players on the Irish panel. The students’ victory over second-placed Cork Harlequins last weekend stretched their lead at the top of the table to four points.
Cork will look to get back on track when they host Belfast Harlequins at Farmers Cross, the sides having drawn their first meeting of the campaign back in November. Third placed Pegasus will be seeking their fifth win on the trot when they meet Pembroke Wanderers at Queens.
Railway Union and Ards play the bottom two on Saturday, Railway away to Trinity and Ards hosting Monkstown.