Tough opening weekend for junior age group teams

The Irish underage sides endured a tough weekend on the results front with eight losses from eight outings against strong opposition at tournaments in Antwerp, Santander and Cork.

The Under-18 girls went the closest to a positive outcome as they put it up to Germany on day one of the European Championships in Spain.

Siofra O’Brien latched onto a penalty corner rebound at the injector spot to get them off to a flying start and a series of awesome saves from Ellie McLoughlin kept them in the hunt throughout.

Stine Kurz, though, nailed two penalty corners to swap the lead around before half-time. Ireland kept pushing through the second half but could not find the golden chance and eventually fell 2-1.

The boys were undone by a talented Dutch team 6-0 but did improve in the second half after conceding five in the opening half.

In the Under-23 competition in Antwerp, the women had a good battle with India on Saturday with Edel Nyland levelling the score at the quarter mark. The Indians, though, took their chances to pull away in a 4-1 result.

On Sunday, a star-studded Dutch side won 5-0 with senior internationals Yibbi Janssen and Ginella Zerbo on the mark along with Pien Dicke, Freeke Moes (both Under-21 Euro champions last August) and Ilse Kappelle also scoring.

The men fell 5-0 to India. After a scoreless first quarter, India netted three in the second quarter before scoring in the first and last minutes of the second half.

A day later, they put in an excellent performance with David Rae scoring but found the Dutch too hot to handle in the end. Rae had made it 1-1 before Kampong’s Jip Janssen and Bloemendaal’s Yannick van der Drift netted for a 3-1 result.

In Cork, the Under-16 girls were another side to meet an impressive Dutch side. Holly Mickelem made some great stops in the opening phases while India Cotter was an excellent attacking threat and Isabelle Maleady went close.

Jill Niessen, however, broke the deadlock in the 10th minute and Mikki Roberts made it 2-0 at half-time. Kim Hendrikx added a third in the second half but Ireland hung tough and battled all the way.

The boys also put in a spirited performance against the Dutch. Guus Jansen neatly tucked away a rebound off a big Ross Clarke save but Ireland were soon level when a corner won by Troy Chambers led to a foul and a stroke. Craig Mackay converted from the spot.

Ivo Visser restored the Dutch lead and Pim Haring made it 3-1 with barely 10 minutes gone but Ireland did get one back just before half-time to leave it at 3-2 at the interval.

Hidde Parleviet scored twice in the second half to end it 5-2 in spite of the Dutch going down to eight players at one stage with three yellow cards.

Monday sees the Under-23s on rest days as are the boys Under-16s. The Under-18 teams both have crucial games against lower-ranked sides on paper.

The girls are up against a Belarus side who lost 4-0 to England in their opening game while the boys are in action against France who lost 6-2 to Belgium. The Under-16 girls are up against England at the Mardyke.

Women’s Under-23 Six Nations (Antwerp)
Saturday, July 14: Ireland 1 (E Nyland) India 4
Sunday, July 15: Ireland 0 Netherlands 5
Tuesday, July 17: Ireland v Canada, 12pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Great Britain, 12pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 1.30pm
Saturday, July 21: Crossovers

Men’s Under-23 Five Nations (Antwerp):
Saturday, July 14: Ireland 0 India 5
Sunday, July 15: Ireland 1 (D Rae) Netherlands 3
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Great Britain, 1.30pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 6pm
Saturday, July 21: Crossovers

Girls European Under-18 Championship (Santander):
Sunday, July 15: Ireland 1 (S O’Brien) Germany 2 (S Kurz 2)
Monday, July 16: Ireland v Belarus, 1.15pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v England, 2.45pm
July 20/21: classification matches

Boys European Under-18 Championship (Santander):
July 15: Ireland 0 Netherlands 6
July 16: Ireland v France, 5.45pm
July 18: Ireland v Belgium, 12pm
July 20/21: classification matches

Boys Under-16s Six Nations (The Mardyke, Cork)
Sunday, July 15: Ireland 2 (C Mackay, E Jennings) Netherlands 5
Tuesday, July 17: Ireland v England, 4pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Spain, 3pm
Friday, July 20: Ireland v Belgium, 2pm
Saturday, July 21: Ireland v Germany, 5pm

Girls Under-16 Six Nations (The Mardyke, Cork)
Sunday, July 15: Ireland 0 Netherlands 3
Monday, July 16: Ireland v England, 4pm
Wednesday, July 18: Ireland v Spain, 1pm
Thursday, July 19: Ireland v Belgium, 4pm
Saturday, July 21: Ireland v Germany, 3pm

Partners of The Hook

smart-trainingSecurehost.ie