Hockey: Ireland’s women’s team to play five games in Alicante

Senior Cup quarter-finals will be the last this season members of Ireland squad will play

 Shirley McCay of Ireland  with England’s Elena Rayer.  McCay  returns to the Ireland fold having initially considered retiring after the World Cup. Photograph:  Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Shirley McCay of Ireland with England’s Elena Rayer. McCay returns to the Ireland fold having initially considered retiring after the World Cup. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

 

Ireland’s schedule for the year ahead is filling up fast with the announcement of a trip to Alicante. Spain, next month, where the women’s hockey team will come up against the nations they beat in last summer’s World Cup quarter and semi-finals, India and Spain.

Following that there will be a series of matches against Britain at Bisham Abbey in March, with four games against Canada in Dublin providing the final warm-up for the FIH Series event on home turf in June.

Coach Graham Shaw has named a 26-player squad for the three games against India and two against Spain, Shirley McCay and Liz Colvin returning to the fold having initially considered retiring after the World Cup.

Sarah Hawkshaw and the Barr twins, Bethany and Serena, retain their places in the squad after making their senior debuts against Chile earlier this month, while there is a return for former Ards forward Chloe Brown, who is now playing her hockey in England with East Grinstead.

Megan Frazer and Gillian Pinder, who both picked up injuries in Chile, miss out on this trip, as does goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran who has college commitments in America.

Top-two finish

Earlier this week Singapore completed the line-up for the FIH Series finals where Ireland will need a top-two finish to guarantee advancing to an Olympic-qualifying tie. The Czech Republic, Malaysia, Korea, Scotland, Ukraine and France will be the other competing nations at an Irish venue still to be confirmed.

With such a jammed schedule ahead, the European Championships following in August, Saturday’s Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals will be the last round of the competition this season that will feature members of the senior squad. With 11 players between them on the latest panel, UCD and Loreto would be the clubs most effected if they advance to the last four, but having been paired in the quarter-final draw only one of them will.

UCD, who are going for a three-in-a-row in the competition, host Loreto at Belfield, with the three other Leinster sides left in the draw all having home advantage. Pembroke Wanderers take on Pegasus, last season’s beaten finalists, Railway Union host Ards and Muckross take on Cork Harlequins.

IRISH SQUAD: S Barr (Beeston), L Colvin, Z Wilson both Belfast Harlequins), R Upton (Catholic Institute), K Mullan (Club an der Alster), Y O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), C Brown (East Grinstead), L Murphy, H Matthews, A Meeke, S Torrans, N Daly (all Loreto), S McCay (Pegasus), A Naughton, E Beatty, S Loughran (all Pembroke Wanderers), A O’Flanagan (Pinoke), E Buckley (Racing), S Hawkshaw (Railway Union), B Barr, L Tice, H McLoughlin, E Curran, D Duke, L McGuire (all UCD), N Evans (UHC).

Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals - Saturday: Muckross v Cork Harlequins, Muckross Park, 1.30pm; Railway Union v Ards, Park Avenue, 2pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Pegasus, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Loreto, Belfield, 2.50pm.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.