The Irish Women’s Over 45s Masters team are off to Cardiff in Wales this weekend to participate in a Masters Competition against the England O-45s (on Saturday at 4pm) and against the Wales O-45s (on Sunday at 11am).
Earlier this year, the Irish Women’s Masters team participated in the Over 40s Home Nations competition in Sheffield in June, where they suffered defeats at the hands of England and Wales.
Over the last two months, a huge amount of work has gone into developing women’s masters hockey in Ireland. Two young coaches have been appointed – Benjamin Epstein and Stuart Malcolm (Ben and Stu) from Trinity and weekly training sessions have been held.
Since their appointment, the Irish O-45s have played training matches against an Irish O-40s team and against an Ulster O-40s team as part of a recruitment drive to expand the number of players playing Masters hockey. The intention is to have two squads – an Over 40s and an Over 45s – and to involve more players from the other provinces – Ulster, Munster and Connacht, as the current squads mainly comprise Leinster based players.
The current Irish O-45s squad travelling to Wales this weekend comprises large contingents from Pembroke and Loreto, with Alison Pigot as captain and Bronwyn O’Donnell as vice captain.
Ex internationals Joanne O’Grady and Carolyn Shankey are part of the squad, which is also strengthened by Linda Jenkinson and Sue Vincent of Loreto. Unfortunately, skilful midfielder Annie Lawlor is unable to travel due to an ankle injury sustained in a mid week training match.
** The Masters Players would like to pass on their good luck wishes to the senior squads in Germany.
Ireland O-45 squad: Sinead Guilfoyle, (GK, Pembroke), Bronwyn O’Donnell, (vice-captin, Loreto), Maura O’Neill (TRR), Helen Johnston (Railway), Trish Dwyer (Loreto), Sue Vincent (Loreto), Linda Jenkinson (Loreto), Angie Boran (Botanic), Joanne O’Grady (Suttonians), Alison Pigot, (captain, Pembroke), Edwina Mulcahy (Pembroke), Bernie Barry (Pembroke), Judith Hayward (Pembroke), Carolyn Shankey (Randalstown), Pat Stewart (Grosvenor).
Coaches: Benjamin Epstein, Stuart Malcolm.
Manager: Sarah Williams.