Over-45 women shine on Masters Euros opening days

Ireland O-45 women began their European championships against Wales in Tilburg on Friday evening. The previous encounter in the home nations had been a close affair so Ireland expected a tough game.

The tone was set in the opening exchanges as Ireland pressed effectively, moving the ball quickly to pressurise the Welsh defence. From one such move down the right, Ann Young jinked into the circle and from the ensuing pass, Hazel Agar crossed to Nichola Thompson to convert the opening goal at the far post.

Into the second quarter and once again Ireland found a way down the right, into the circle and an almost carbon copy goal for Fiona Nestor at the far post; 2-0 up at half time, Ireland started the second half in search of further goals.

Thompson ghosted into the circle and her shot was deflected past the keeper into the net by Ashling Schutte for a third goal. By now, Ireland were firmly in control of the game and in the latter stages of the final quarter Clodagh McMoreland-Lynch converted a sweet penalty corner strike for Ireland’s fourth goal. The Irish defence held firm throughout, not giving an inch.

Elsewhere, the Irish Over-45 men also beat Wales with Trevor Dagg equalising the tie at 1-1 early in the second half from a corner. They fell behind for a second time but Robbie Ryan levelled again at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go before Stephen Magee snagged the winner with nine minutes left.

The Irish Over-55s celebrate their victory.

In their second game, they had led 2-0 against Germany on Saturday via a pair of Neil Cooke penalty corners but the Honamas showed typical German spirit to strike three times in the closing quarter to swing the result their way, 3-2.

At men’s Over-55s level, Keith Jess’s second half goal was not enough to turn the tide in a 3-1 defeat to the hosting Netherlands. They lost 6-0 to England on day two.

The Irish Over-40s women ran up a 7-0 victory over Italy with Mary-Rose Roche scoring a hat trick.

The Over-55s had a nice 2-1 win v Scotland with Pat Stewart and Maggie Hunter on the scoresheet while the 50s had an excellent 1-1 draw with England; captain Linda Jenkinson was the scorer.

Masters European Championships
Women’s O-45s:
Ireland 4 (Nichola Thompson 15, Fiona Nestor 24, Ashling Schutte 46, Clodagh McMoreland- Lynch 62) Wales 0
Women O-40s: Ireland 7 (M-R Roche 3, N Patterson 2, F Connery, F Walshe) Italy 0
Women’s O-55s: Ireland 2 (P Stewart, M Hunter) Scotland 1
Women’s O-50s: Ireland 1 (L Jenkinson) England 1

Men’s O-45s: Ireland 3 (Trevor Dagg, Robbie Ryan, Stephen Magee) Wales 2; Ireland 2 (N Cooke 2) Germany 3
Men’s O55s: Ireland 1 (Keith Jess) Netherlands 3; Ireland 0 England 0

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