Ireland’s Over-50s Masters were denied a famous World Cup victory last week as home favourites Australia edged them out in a thriller. Ireland had reached the final off the back of a flawless group stage, not conceding in any of their build-up matches.
Ireland ended the Hawkes Bay tournament in fifth place, two above their pre-tournament ranking, with a second successive shoot-out win as they saw off Rio-bound India for the second time in the tournament.
Rewatching Ireland’s comeback from 3-0 down to beat world number nine side Korea in a shoot-out, it was hard not to feel that there was some extra importance to the performance.
Ireland will contest the 5th to 8th place playoffs at the Hawkes Bay Cup as world number three side Australia proved too strong in their quarter-final tie in New Zealand.
Two final quarter goals cost the Green Army dear in an otherwise impressive performance as they eventually fell 3-1 to Hawkes Bay Cup hosts New Zealand having led 1-0 at half-time.
The Green Army looked a different side on day two of the Hawkes Bay Cup as impressive pressure and clinical penalty corners saw them run out 4-0 victors over India.
China’s four-goal first half blitz saw them sweep past Ireland in their opening game of the Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand.
Sinead Loughran will link up with the Irish women’s team for the Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand following an injury to Shirley McCay, a broken bone in her hand ruling her out of the tournament.
Following Ireland’s three match training series at Bisham Abbey against Great Britain, Graham Shaw’s squad of 18 players departed this evening to take on the Hawkes Bay Cup in New Zealand from April 2-10.
Ireland’s women will travel to New Zealand to play in the highly competitive Hawkes Bay Cup from April 2-10 in a tournament that features five of the world’s top ten sides.
The 2015 year gone by will be remembered long into the future as the year the Irish men finally ended a lengthy wait for Olympic qualification and this is reflected in the most-read stories on The Hook.
Ireland’s men have been handed a tough draw in the Olympic Games group stages, facing four current world level title holders in Pool B for Rio 2016.
Irish coach Craig Fulton says that finally dealing with the “hurt” of missing on London 2012 played a pivotal part in building the mental resolve of his side to mount their first successful Olympic qualifying campaign.
Ireland’s men are on the Road to Rio 2016 as they recieved the favour they required from the other side of the world to finally have their ticket stamped after a three month wait. It means that an Irish team will play in the Olympics for the first time since 1908.
The Irish senior men’s panel will gather together in Dublin at the early hours of Sunday morning to watch online their Rio 2016 fate decided by Australia and, more than likely, New Zealand in the Oceania Cup final.
Dublin is set to host one of the three men’s World League Round 2 tournaments in early 2017 as part of the initial phases of the qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup.
And now the wait commences. October 25 is the date almost indelibly marked on the minds of the Irish hockey public after one of the most thrilling years for the sport.
If ever there was an image to embody the performance of the team, Paul Gleghorne’s slinged up arm with blood dripping from his knuckles captured it; his and Matthew Bell’s reaction to what was another mighty week for Irish hockey
Making history, the recurring mantra of the Irish senior men’s team. An incredible year for the team was capped with the biggest moment yet, winning Ireland’s first ever medal at an elite level competition with a breathless 4-2 win over home host England.
David Harte says the Irish team mantra is “we are not leaving here without a medal” as they build up for their European Championships semi-final in London.