Leinster’ Under-18 will look to end Ulster’s reign as interprovincial champions in Garryduff, Cork this weekend and coach Sarah Scott says her U-18 side are in good shape for the competition.
“We have trained hard for the last two months and the team is coming together nicely,” she said of her squad. “Sophie Roopnarinesingh and Sarah Torrans, however, were unlucky to miss selection through injury.
“Michelle Carey and Hannah McLoughlin are captaining the side and we have a great balance of experience to new players to Under-18 level. We are really looking forward to the tournament.”
The multi-talented Carey duo were both part of the Irish Under-18 side that played in the European championships last summer – also held in Cork – and bring pace and skill to burn.
Both have been part of Dublin ladies football panels at underage level, too, while Niamh has represented Ireland in cross-country running for good measure.
As students at Colaiste Iosagain, they are a rare thing in representative squads as they do not come from a school that plays hockey and they are the only two players in blue in that situation for the three-day competition.
They are a large number of returnees from last year’s Under-18 side that missed on the interpro title on goal difference to Ulster with Nina Heisterkamp, from St Kilian’s, Alexandra College’s Isabelle Delamar and Loreto Beaufort’s Grace McLoughlin the others.
Indeed, the northern province have won six of the last seven editions of the competition but Leinster will draw confidence from the fact they have won the last few Under-16 level competitions.
Mount Anville duo Kate O’Hogan and Natasha Twomey both move up from the Under-16 selection as does Holy Child’s Caroline Mathews, Muckross Park’s Niamh Shaw along with a trio of Loreto Foxrock players – Christina Hamill, Caitlin Sheerin and Siofra O’Brien.
Sharp-shooter Niamh Gowing and the silky touch of Lily Lloyd will give Sarah Scott’s side plenty of attacking options. They start the competition with a Friday afternoon tie against Connacht before Saturday’s big game against Ulster in what could well be the title decider.
After that big showdown, the blues take on the South East on Sunday morning before closing out the campaign against hosts Munster.
The tournament will run in tandem with the Under-16 interprovincials taking place at the same venue with the sequence of matches taking place in the same order but with the Ulster and South East ties taking place on the Saturday.
Coach Elun Hack has access to a number of last year’s key players including goalkeeper Iseult Cambay, from St Andrew’s, and midfield schemer Sophie Cole.
Senior cricket international Gaby Lewis is another Andrew’s player in the panel, back for another year while there is another cricketing connection in Georgia Dunlop – daughter of Angus who played over 100 times for Ireland.
In total the panel of 18 features 11 different schools with Mount Temple getting a call-up with Rebecca McMullen included.
LEINSTER U18 Jade Arundell (Kings Hospital/North Kildare), Kate O’Hogan (Mount Anville/Railway Union), Michelle Carey (Colaiste Íosagain/Railway Union), Niamh Carey (Colaiste Íosagain/Railway Union), Isabelle Delamar (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Katie Fearon (Loreto Beaufort/Railway Union), Niamh Gowing (Mount Anville/Muckross), Christina Hamill (Loreto Foxrock/Loreto), Nina Heisterkamp (St Kilian’s/Railway Union), Lily Lloyd (Rathdown/Hermes-Monkstown), Sophie Maleady (Muckross Park/Corinthian), Caroline Mathews (Holy Child Killiney/Muckross), Grace McLoughlin (Loreto Beaufort/Railway Union), Hannah McLoughlin (Loreto Foxrock/Loreto), Siofra O’Brien (Loreto Foxrock/Avoca), Niamh Shaw (Muckross College/Railway Union), Caitlin Sheerin (Loreto Foxrock/Avoca), Natasha Twomey (Mount Anville/Muckross)
Schedule (all at Garryduff)
Friday, October 21: South East v Munster, 1.30pm; Connacht v Leinster, 4pm; Ulster v South East, 3pm; South East v Ulster, 6.30pm
Saturday, October 22: Connacht v Munster, 10am; Ulster v Leinster, 12pm; Connacht v South East, 3pm; Ulster v Munster, 5pm
Sunday, October 23: Leinster v South East, 10am; Connacht v Ulster, 12pm; Leinster v Munster 3pm
LEINSTER U16: Iseult Cambay (St Andrews/Pembroke Wanderers), Holly Micklem (Wesley/YMCA), Lisa Mulcahy (Mount Anville/Muckross), Sophia Cole (St Columbas/Railway Union), Amy Elliott (St Andrews/Railway Union), Georgia Dunlop (The Kings Hospital/Naas), Emma Dawson (Loreto Foxrock/Muckross), Emily McKay (Wesley/Corinthian), Sarah Healy (Holy Child Killiney/Avoca), Gaby Lewis (St Andrews/Pembroke Wanderers), Laura Noble (Holy Child Killiney/Pembroke Wanderers), Julie Ringrose (Mount Anville/Avoca), Laura Motyer (The High School/Corinthian), Katie Jane Marshall (St Andrews/Pembroke Wanderers), Rebecca McMullen (Mount Temple/Clontarf), Alex Orr (St Andrews/Railway Union), Anna Dignam (Mount Anville/Avoca), Isabelle McGrath (Teresian School/Muckross)
Schedule (all at Garryduff)
Friday, October 21: Connacht v Leinster, 12.30pm; Ulster v South East, 3pm; Connacht v Munster, 5.30pm
Saturday, October 22: Ulster v Leinster, 9am; South East v Connacht, 11am; Ulster v Munster, 2pm; South East v Leinster, 4pm
Sunday, October 23: Munster v Leinster, 9am; Connacht v Ulster, 11am; Munster v South East, 2pm