Ulster Masters claim Interpro title

The Ulster Over-40s claimed a three-team, women’s masters Interprovincial tournament at Lisnagarvey last weekend. They came out ahead of the Leinster O-40s and a mixed Leinster/Ulster O-45 selection, referred to as Ireland O-45s.

Each team played each other in a round robin format on both the Saturday and the Sunday, that is, each team playing four 60 minute games in two days – a lot of work for ageing bodies.

Ulster O-40s took the cup with two wins and two draws, the stand-out performers being sharp striker Julie Doak and ex-international goalkeeper Alison Vance, who pulled off a string of saves, including a penalty stroke.

Leinster O-40s were second with a win, two draws and a loss. Aisling Schutte and Caroline Sharkey displayed strong running up front, with Paula O’Donoghue and Ailish Langan being solid in defence.

The ‘Ireland’ O45s finished third with two draws and two losses, but the margins were close. They found their scoring form in the last match with three well-executed corners.

Stand-out performers were midfielders Annie Lawlor and Carolyn Burns (Shankey) with Orla Galvin very strong in defence.

From the Interpros an Ireland O40s squad and an Ireland O45s squad will be selected to compete in the Home Nations Tournament in Edinburgh on June 15-17.

Coaches Ben Epstein and Stu Malcolm are working hard to prepare the teams for the Home Nations. Andy Nye and his colleagues in Lisnagarvey were once again pivotal in organising this Interprovinincial tournament.

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