Women's Hockey: Ireland draw little comfort from Spanish trip
Pick of the weekend games in the women’s Hockey League is the meeting of UCD and Pegasus at Belfield
Railway Union’s Sarah Hawkshaw: she took part in the games in Spain. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
The results didn’t go Ireland’s way in Spain over the past week with three defeats and two draws from their five games, but coach Graham Shaw used the contests to give further opportunities to some of the squad’s more recent additions, among them Sarah Hawkshaw and the Barr twins Bethany and Serena.
Having drawn one and lost one of their two games against India in Murcia, Ireland ended their three-match series against Spain in Granada on Thursday with a 4-1 defeat, adding to their earlier 2-1 loss and 3-3 draw against the team they beat in last summer’s World Cup semi-finals.
Anna O’Flanagan gave Ireland a first-quarter lead in the last of the matches, but their hosts were level by the break, and added three more scores in the final two quarters.
Next up for Ireland is a trip to Bisham Abbey in England next month, when they will play a number of uncapped games against Britain, but before then the players return to club duty, starting this weekend with the resumption of the Hockey League.
After the last round of matches in November, Pegasus led the table by two points from Loreto, with UCD a further five points adrift, one clear of Pembroke Wanderers in fourth.
The pick of the weekend games then is the meeting of UCD and Pegasus at Belfield, while Loreto host Cork Harlequins, who are a point off the top four.
Pembroke are at home to Belfast Harlequins (sixth) on Sunday, with Railway Union (eighth) taking on Old Alexandra (seventh).
Saturday’s only game pairs the bottom two with Ards at home to Muckross.
Hockey League – Saturday: Ards v Muckross, Ards Park, 2.30pm. Sunday: Loreto v Cork Harlequins, Grange Road, 1.30pm; UCD v Pegasus, Belfield, 1.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Belfast Harlequins, Serpentine Avenue, 4pm; Railway Union v Old Alexandra, Park Avenue, 4.15pm.