Sharp learning curve for Women’s Over 40s

International Masters tournament
The Irish Women’s Masters team (Over 40s) took part in their second home countries tournament in Sheffield, England last weekend. With just a few training sessions under their belt and a squad of 13, Ireland took on Scotland on the Friday evening.

Ireland managed to secure a point with a 0-0 draw against a Scottish side who had beaten them 3-0 a year previously. The team defended well with Margie Loughran having an outstanding game in the Irish goal. The back four of Bromwyn O’Donnell(Captain), Helen Johnston, Maura O’Neill and Noreen O’Riordan defended well to keep the Scots at bay.

The next day Ireland faced a slick passing, fit English team who the previous day had beaten Wales 7-0. With their one-two passing and movement off the ball they soon broke down the Irish defence. Despite three more Irish players arriving on the Saturday morning, along with Manager Sarah Williams, the English proved too strong and ran out 9-0 winners.

Following ice baths for tired limbs, the Irish faced a good Welsh side (who had narrowly lost to the Scots 2-1) on the Sunday morning. Despite having more possession of the ball through the hard working midfield of Deirdre McDermott, Linda Jenkinson and Orla Galvin, Ireland were unable to convert possession into goals and Wales were 2-0 up by half time, adding another two in the second half.

Sinead Guilfoyle in the Irish goals saved a penalty stroke and on the final hooter Ireland won a corner which Joanne O’Grady converted, flicking high into the net off a rebound. England won the tournament, beating Scotland 3-2 in the final match. It was a good learning experience for the Irish team and reinforced the need to develop the women’s masters structure in Ireland.

The Masters are keen to hear from any players aged 40 and over who are still playing hockey, from throughout Ireland. Contacts are Alison Pigot (Pembroke), Bromwyn O’Donnell (Loreto), Helen Johnston (Railway) and Sarah Williams (Pembroke).

Ireland squad: Margie Loughran (GK, Navan), Sinead Guilfoyle (GK, Pembroke), Bromwyn O’Donnell (C, Loreto), Helen Johnston (VC, Railway), Maura O’Neill (Three Rock), Noreen O’Riordan (Loreto), Ciara Hughes (Pembroke), Orla Galvin (Old Alex), Linda Jenkinson (Loreto), Deirdre McDermott (Greenfields), Emma Meir (Avoca), Edwina Mulcahy (Pembroke), Judith Hayward (Pembroke), Joanne O’Grady (Suttonians), Elaine Sutton (Avoca), Nicky Cullen (Avoca), Manager: Sarah Williams (Pembroke).

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