Women’s hockey: Ireland set to face Spain and Belgium again

Graham Shaw’s young team picking up valuable experience against top-class opposition

After 4-2 defeats to both Spain and Belgium earlier in the week, Ireland complete their programme of games against the same opposition at Alcala on Friday and Saturday.

Coach Graham Shaw is using the fixtures to give the more youthful members of his squad some experience, with teenagers Hannah McLoughlin, Emma Buckley, Jessica McMaster, Erin Getty and Sarah Torrans all getting a run-out in one or both of the games.

Monkstown's Ellen Curran, another of the teenagers in the original squad, had, though, to withdraw through injury and has been replaced by UCD's Leah Ewart.

Nikki Evans earned her 150th cap in the defeat to European silver medallists Belgium, the Hamburg player marking the occasion by giving Ireland a 2-1 lead before the Belgians sealed their win with three more goals.


Emma Russell, meanwhile, scored twice against Spain but, again, the hosts proved too strong and ran out 4-2 winners. Ireland play Spain again on Friday before their second meeting with Belgium on Saturday.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times