For a club who have played in Europe seven times in the past 14 years and the consistency that brings, it is surprising that just three of Hermes’ 2009 vintage are still around.
That time round, they finished third in Wettingen and they return to the same Zurich venue, seeking promotion from the EuroHockey Club Champion’s Challenge to go with Pegasus’ victory in the division above at Easter.
Just Gillian Pinder, Christine Quinlan and Emma Gray are back for another year as their trade-offs with UCD and the arrival of international stars means it is very much a new-look panel from a European perspective.
Nonetheless, there is plenty of experience of such tournaments with Rachel Burke, Kerry McComish and Catriona McGilp all having played for UCD in 2010 while Mary Goode played in Pembroke’s 2008 trip to Gent.
Fiona Connery, meanwhile, is back and has a major medal to her name from back in 2000 when Hermes picked off bronze in the A division in Koln.
As such, they look like one of the strongest contenders in this third tier competition as they have only once finished outside of the top three in European – whether in A or B division previously.
They open on Friday night against a hosting Rotweiss Wettingen side they beat 9-0 three years ago. Austrian opposition HC Wels follow on Saturday before they meet Slavia Praha who finished third at this level of competition a year ago.
Top spot from the initial group of four teams will earn a place in one of two “finals” on Monday afternoon. Reaching such a final will also see Ireland’s 2013 entrant – UCD – will rise to the Champion’s Trophy.
Hermes: Emma Gray, Mary Goode, Fiona Connery, Sinead Connery, Aine Connery, Audrey O’Flynn, Sinead McCarthy, Christine Quinlan, Gillian Pinder, Catriona McGilp, Rachel Burke, Eimear Horan, Miriam Crowley, Sarah Patton, Lisa Jacob, Kerry McComish, Aoife Harte Coach: Mary Logue Manager: Joan Morgan Physio: Mike Carswell Asst Coach: Helen Kilroy Video: Tristan Seaton Stedham
Pool A: SG Amsicora (ITA), HC Praha 1946 (CZE), Dundee Wanderers (SCO), Lille MHC (FRA) Pool B: SK Slavia Praha (CZE), HC Wels (AUT), Hermes (IRL), HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI)
Friday, May 25: Hermes vs Rotweiss Wettingen, 7pm Saturday, May 26: Hermes vs HC Wels, 7pm Sunday, May 27: Hermes vs SK Slavia Praha, 5pm Monday, May 28: Classification matches
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