The Irish Women’s Masters are sending three teams to the Home Nations Tournament in Swansea, Wales this weekend from 27th to 29th June. The Irish W40s, W45s and W50s play England on Friday, Wales on Saturday and Scotland on Sunday.
The Irish W50s, who recently won bronze at the World Cup in Rotterdam, will play gold medallists England in the first match. Ireland were narrowly beaten by England 1-0 at the world cup and will be hoping to do even better at the Home Nations.
The successful coach Ben Epstein has had to rejig the playing structure of the team, however, as a number of the bronze medallists are unavailable for the Home Nations: Sinead Guilfoyle (GK), Joan Dobson, Joanne O’Grady, Kathy Shaw, Marion O’Grady, and Claire Bell.
Experienced masters defenders Helen Johnston and Bronwyn O’Donnell return to the squad, along with ex-international Fiona Marshall and Munster’s Colette Mannix who make their debuts.
The team is captained by the influential Maggie Hunter, with defenders Jane Salter and Maura O’Neill released to the midfield. Helen Roche retains the goalkeeping slot, while the team will look to Munster’s Dymphna Hill and Cathy Walsh for goals.
Ulster defenders Anne Snoddy and Julie Wilson, along with midfielder Pat Stewart and fast forward Dee Wallace, with Connacht’s Siobhan Glynn complete the squad.
The Irish W45s, coached by Stu Malcolm, did not participate in the World Cup so this is their first taste of international masters competition this year.
The evergreen Annie Lawlor joins the squad after playing with the O40s in the World Cup along with Masters instigator Ali Pigot.
Munster sisters Judy Judge and Tracy Kingston and Ulster’s Alison Gillan return to the squad. The remainder are Irish Masters debutants, with Weston goalkeeper Catherine Quirke captaining the side.
Leinster representation includes Kate Turley, Sharon Burke and Vicki McDonnell, with Gail Russell representing Connacht. Shirley Moore and Jacqui Freyne complete the Munster representation, with Julie Shaw and Kathy Cunningham from Ulster joining the squad.
The Irish W40s competed well at the World Cup but narrowly lost a couple of matches, finishing in 6th position, in a very competitive age group.
Coach Guy Garrett will be hoping to build on this achievement at the Home Nations. He loses Annie Lawlor to the O45s, while Linda Jenkinson, Julie Fisher, Julie Doak, Lorna Bagnall and Caroline Sharkey are unavailable.
Leinster’s Mairead D’Arcy, Munster’s Noreen Daly Gillis and Ulster’s Sue Gibson join the squad. Connacht’s Clodagh McMoreland continues as captain along with goalkeeper Tara Browne, defender Emma Glanville, and forward Deirdre McDermott also from the western province.
Leinster’s representation also includes goalkeeper Mary Harkin, Noreen Dockery, Hazel Agar, Ali McSweeney and Gillian Garrett along with UK-based Clara Chamberlayne. Ulster players Shelley Lyons and Lynn Mills complete the squad.
Tournament Schedule: Swansea University, Wales
Friday 27th June
13.00 W50 Ireland v England
15.00 W45 Ireland v England
17.00 W40 Ireland v England
Saturday 28th June
09.00 W45 Ireland v Wales
11.00 W50 Ireland v Wales
15.00 W40 Ireland v Wales
Sunday 29th June
10.00 W40 Ireland v Scotland
10.00 W50 Ireland v Scotland
11.45 W45 Ireland v Scotland
Ireland W40: Tara Browne (GK), Mary Harkin (GK), Emma Glanville, Deirdre McDermott, Clodagh McMoreland (C), Noreen Dockery, Haze Agar, Shelley Lyons, Ali McSweeney, Lynn Mills, Gillian Garrett, Noreen Daly Gillis, Mairead D’Arcy, Sue Gibson, Clara Chamerlayne. Coach: Guy Garrett, Managers: Phil Mills & Rachel Couse.
Ireland W45: Catherine Quirke (GK, C), Julie Shaw, Alison Pigot, Annie Lawlor, Kathy Cunningham, Tracy Kingston, Gail Russell, Vicki McDonnell, Kate Turley, Sharon Burke, Jacqui Freyne, Shirley Moore, Alison Gillan, Judy Judge. Coach: Stu Malcolm, Manager: Dee Mooney.
Ireland W50: Helen Roche (GK), Anne Snoddy, Maura O’Neill, Dymphna Hill, Cathy Walsh, Pat Stewart, Jane Salter, Maggie Hunter, Julie Wilson, Bronwyn O’Donnell, Helen Johnston, Siobhan Glynn, Colette Mannix, Fiona Marshall, Dee Wallace. Coach: Ben Epstein, Manager: Orla Galvin.