Irish Women’s Masters had a clean sweep over Wales on Saturday at the Home Nations in Swansea, Wales, recoding scores of 5-1, 3-1 and 7-1.
First up was the W45s who were looking for a result after a tough game against England. Despite Wales going ahead in the first minute Ireland were soon on level terms when defender turned centre forward Gail Russell shot past the Welsh keeper from the top of the circle.They were soon two ahead when Russell won a penalty stroke which Annie Lawlor slotted home. In the second half, defender Judy Judge put Ireland further ahead from a short corner strike. Player of the match Lawlor got her second and Ireland’s fourth when she broke through the Welsh defence.
Julie Shaw was working hard for Ireland and her side were rewarded for their hard work when Ali Pigot slotted home another penalty stroke for the fifth goal leaving the final score at 5-1 to Ireland. England beat Scotland 7-0 in this section, so a win over Scotland on Sunday would give Ireland second place.
The Irish W50s also secured a win against the Welsh W50s, scoring their first goal within the first minute when Siobhan Glynn put in a strong strike from the top of the circle.
Despite having a lot of pressure the score remained 1-0 to Ireland at half time. In fact, player of the match Maggie Hunter cleared a Welsh shot off the line after goalie Helen Roche had made the initial save.
Glynn put Ireland further ahead in the second half when she tipped in a Cathy Walsh shot. Ireland’s third goal was scored in similar fashion when Maura O’Neill shot from the top of the circle and this time was deflected in by defender-cum-forward Julie Wilson.
Shortly afterwards, however, Wales won a penalty stroke which they scored. About 10 minutes from the end Maura O’Neill took a nasty deflected ball to the head which required eight stitches. After being patched up though, she was given the all-clear to play on Sunday! Final score: Ireland 3 Wales 1. In the other match in this section England beat Scotland 1-0.
The Ireland W40s had a goal fest beating Wales 7-1. Hazel Agar was first on the score sheet when she scored from open play following a passing break from defence.
Gillian Garrett put Ireland further ahead when she scored off a rebound at a short corner. Despite Irish dominance, the Welsh were dangerous on the break and goalie Mary Harkin was called into action on a number of occasions.
On one of these forays, Wales found the net for a 2-1 scoreline. Ireland scored twice more before half time. The first was a superb ball from sweeper Emma Glanville in defence on to the stick of forward Ali McSweeney who rounded the keeper and slotted home.
The fourth goal was an interchange between Ali McSweeney and Deirdre McDermott with McDermott finishing past the keeper. Ireland added to their goal tally immediately after the re-start when Mairead D’Arcy finished off good work by Nettie Wilson and Ali McSweeney.
Ireland’s sixth goal was goal of the match when a sliding Deirdre McDermott got on the end of a Hazel Agar crash. Ireland continue to work hard with Noreen Daly Gillis having a great game in midfield and player of the match Ali McSweeney continuing to create chances.
From one of these chances, Gillian Garrett got her second and Ireland’s seventh when she scored off a rebound following an Ali McSweeney shot. In the other game England beat Scotland 4-0. Ireland can win this section of the tournament if they beat Scotland by more goals than England beat Wales – so all to play for!