Four years after Ireland first participated in the women’s masters home nations in Swansea, with one Over-40s squad of 13, they are set to host the tournament, fielding teams at O-40s, O-45s and O-50s level. The tournament will take place in UCD, Railway Union and Pembroke on June 14-16.
The Ireland O-40s are captained by Gillian Garrett, an Old Alex player, who has recently been plying her trade as an umpire but returns to the pitch to lead the Irish O-40s in the Home Nations.
Ex-international Tara Browne is one of the two goalkeepers, with ex-international forward Richelle Flanagan also on the squad. Ards defender Lynn Mills brings current playing experience to the team having recently played in both the Irish Senior Cup and Irish Hockey League semi-finals. All four Provinces are represented on the team, with Ben Epstein as coach.
The Ireland O-45s field an experienced Masters team, many having played at O-40s level. Former international Alison Thompson (Vance) is one of the goalkeepers and while Joanne O’Grady, who also lined out in green, brings guile to the midfield.
Linda Jenkinson and Tracey Skoyles make for a sound defensive unit while Joan Dobson, Annie Lawlor and Roly Burke bring senior club experience to the midfield. Julie Doak and Kathy Shaw (Johnson) provide a forward threat. Ross Canning coaches the O-45s.
At O-50s level, their international experience comes from Maggie Hunter (Browne) who joins the squad, commanding the midfield, along with Orla Bell; forwards Carolyn Burns (Shankey) and Cathy Walsh, as well as defender Orla Galvin, who along with captain Helen Johnston, provides an experienced defence. Sue Vincent, Dee Wallace and Angie Boran bring pace to the side. Leinster make up the bulk of the squad which is coached by Stuart Malcolm.
The O-40s and O-45s tournament will take place in Pembroke. Ireland’s first match there is Ireland O-40s v Wales O-40s at 3.30pm on Friday afternoon. The Ireland O-45s play Wales O-45s at 6.30pm. On the Saturday both teams face Scotland: the O-40s at 10am and the O-45s at 1.30pm. Both teams play England on Sunday – the O-40s at 11am and the O-45s at 2pm.
The O-50s/O-55s tournament takes place at UCD on the Friday afternoon with Ireland O-50s playing Wales O-50s at 3.30pm. The Saturday and Sunday matches take place in Railway with the Ireland O50s playing England O-50s at 10.30am and then Scotland O50s at 3.30pm. They face England O-55s at 1pm on Sunday.
Food will be provided at Railway and Pembroke throughout both Saturday and Sunday, with all support welcome.
Ireland O-40s: Tara Browne (GK, Galway), Joanne Robinson (GK, Grosvenor), Emma Glanville (Galway), Shelly Lyons (Pegasus), Lynn Mills (Ards), Kerry Johnson (Pembroke), Noreen Dockery (Old Alex), Clodagh McMoreland (Yeats County), Noreen Daly-Gillis (Cork Wanderers), Julie Bell (Belfast Harlequins), Nichola Thompson (Lurgan Ladies), Clara Chamberlayne (VC, Pembroke), Gillian Garrett (C, Old Alex), Alison Gillan (Holywood), Hazel Agar (Old Alex), Caroline Sharkey (Loreto), Ashling Schutte (Pembroke), Richelle Flanagan (Old Alex). Coach: Ben Epstein, Assistant Coach: Deirdre McDermott; Manager: Ailish Langan
Ireland O-45s: Sinead Guilfoyle (GK, Pembroke), Alison Thompson (GK, Portadown), Linda Jenkinson (Loreto), Judy Judge (Cork COI), Mairead Lyons (Three Rock Ladies/Barnes), Tracey Skoyles (Naas), Joan Dobson (Cork COI), Jane Salter (Glenanne), Annie Lawlor (Pembroke), Roly Burke (Hermes), Jean Erskine (Newcastle), Julie Fisher (North Down), Julie Doak (Knock), Kathy Shaw (Kilorglin), Alison Pigot (Pembroke), Jacqui Freyne (Clonmel), Claire Bell (Belfast Harlequins), Joanne O’Grady (Suttonians). Coach: Ross Canning; Manager: Nikkey Cullen.
Ireland O-50s: Helen Roche (GK, Railway), Orla Galvin (VC, Old Alex), Helen Johnston (C, Railway), Maura O’Neill (Three Rock Ladies), Bronwyn O’Donnell (Loreto), Dee Mooney (Loreto), Maggie Hunter (Lisnagarvey), Dymphna Hill (Cork COI), Pat Stewart (Grosvenor), Orla Bell (Pembroke), Angie Boran (Botanic), Maureen Flavin (Hermes), Siobhan Forde (Galway), Carolyn Burns (Rainey), Cathy Walsh (Cork COI), Dee Wallace (Ballyclare), Sue Vincent (Loreto), Ann Kirwan (Genesis). Coach: Stu Malcolm; Manager: Julie Wilson.