Hockey: Trio of debutants make squad for FIH Series Finals

Sarah Hawkshaw, Bethany Barr and Emma Buckley will play world ranking tournament for first time

Railway Union’s Sarah Hawkshaw is in the Ireland squad for the FIH Series Finals. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Railway Union’s Sarah Hawkshaw is in the Ireland squad for the FIH Series Finals. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Sarah Hawkshaw, Bethany Barr and Emma Buckley are all set for their world ranking tournament debuts as they made the final cut for next week’s FIH Series Finals in Banbridge.

It means three changes from the original World Cup silver medal winning side with the vastly experienced Yvonne O’Byrne and Nikki Evans – the latter named as a reserve – missing out this time.

Buckley takes on the number two goalkeepeing role in place of Grace O’Flanagan who took a step back following London. Emily Beatty also misses out while Chloe Brown – after a strong season with East Grinstead – is named as the other reserve.

In terms of injury, the only player from the wider panel to miss out through injury was Sarah Torrans while Sinead Loughran withdrew due to work and study reasons.

Ireland start their campaign next Saturday, June 8th against Malaysia before facing the Czech Republic a day later. They finish off with a tie against the lowest ranked side Singapore. Top spot in the group goes straight through to the semi-finals while second and third go into the quarters.

If Ireland reach the final, they go through directly to October’s Olympic qualifiers and boost their chances of a home draw. Miss out and they will have to play a waiting game to see if their world ranking is good enough to be involved in those qualifiers.

Ireland: A McFerran (GK, University of Louisville), E Buckley (Racing Club de Bruxelles), R Upton (Catholic Institute), K Mullan (Club an der Alster), S McCay (Pegasus), M Frazer (Mannheimer HC), L Tice (UCD), G Pinder (Pembroke), B Barr (UCD), C Watkins (Monkstown), L Colvin (Belfast Harlequins), N Daly (Loreto), H Matthews (Loreto), S Hawkshaw (Railway Union), A O’Flanagan (Pinoke), Z Wilson (Belfast Harlequins), D Duke (Dusseldorfer HC), A Meeke (Loreto).

Reserves: C Brown (East Grinstead), Nikki Evans (UHC Hamburg).

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