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Ireland women's national field hockey team

The Ireland women's national field hockey team is organised by Hockey Ireland and represents both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in international women's field hockey competitions, including the Women's Hockey World Cup, the Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship and the Hockey Series. They have previously competed in the Women's Hockey Champions Challenge and the Women's FIH Hockey World League. On 2 March 1896, Ireland played England in the first ever women's international field hockey match. Ireland were finalists and silver medallists at the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup.

Ireland
Flag of Ireland hockey team.svg
AssociationHockey Ireland
ConfederationEHF (Europe)
CoachSean Dancer
Assistant coach(es)Gareth Grundie
Nigel Henderson
Colin Stewart
Darren Kenna
ManagerArlene Boyles
CaptainKatie Mullan
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Home
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Away
FIH ranking
Current 8 Steady (29 June 2019)[1]
World Cup
Appearances4 (first in 1986)
Best result2nd (2018)
EuroHockey Championship
Appearances13 (first in 1984)
Best result5th (1984, 2005, 2009)

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

The Irish Ladies Hockey Union was established in 1894. On 2 March 1896 they organised and hosted the first ever women's international field hockey match when Ireland defeated England 2–0 at Alexandra College.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

OlympicsEdit

Tournament Place
1991 Women's Field Hockey Olympic Qualifier 11th
2000 Women's Field Hockey Olympic Qualifier 8th
2004 Women's Field Hockey Olympic Qualifier 8th
2008 Women's Field Hockey Olympic Qualifier 3rd
2012 Women's Field Hockey Olympic Qualifier 2nd

Ireland have never qualified for an Olympic Games. They were invited to enter the inaugural 1980 tournament but did not participate because of the boycott.[9][10] Between 1991 and 2012 Ireland competed in Olympic qualifiers. In 2012 they reached the final of a qualifying tournament but lost 4–1 to Belgium.[11][12] Ireland attempted to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics via the 2014–15 Women's FIH Hockey World League. However they failed to qualify after losing out to China in a penalty shoot-out during a round three tournament in Valencia.[9][10][13]

World CupEdit

Tournament Place
1986 Women's Hockey World Cup 12th
1994 Women's Hockey World Cup 11th
1997 Women's Hockey World Cup Qualifier 8th
2001 Women's Hockey World Cup Qualifier 5th
2002 Women's Hockey World Cup 15th
2006 Women's Hockey World Cup Qualifier 8th
2010 Women's Hockey World Cup Qualifiers 3rd
2018 Women's Hockey World Cup  

Ireland have played in four Women's Hockey World Cups, making their debut in 1986. Ireland hosted the 1994 Women's Hockey World Cup and made their third appearance in 2002.[14][15]

2002 qualification controversyEdit

Ireland qualified for the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup following a bizarre and controversial set of circumstances. At the 2001 Women's Hockey World Cup Qualifier Ireland played Lithuania in a fifth to eighth place classification match. The match finished 2–2 and Lithuania won the subsequent penalty shoot-out 6–5. However Ireland captain, Rachel Kohler, spotted that the penalty strokes were being taken in the wrong order. She was initially ignored by the match officials, but Ireland appealed and the tournament director ruled the shoot-out should be replayed the next day. However Lithuania refused to take part and withdrew from the tournament.[16][17][18] Ireland went on to defeat Scotland 2–1 in the fifth place play-off and were initially confirmed as the final qualifier from the tournament. Before the match the Lithuania team staged a sit down protest on the pitch.[19] Lithuania lodged a further appeal to the FIH who then ordered that Ireland, Lithuania, India and the United States take part in a second qualification tournament. Lithuania were due to play India in a seventh and eighth place play-off before they withdrew. The United States had been unable to participate in the original qualifier due to the disruption of airline schedules after the September 11 attacks.[14][17][18][20][21][22] However Ireland in turn appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who overruled the FIH decision and finally confirmed Ireland's place in the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup.[23]

2018 Women's Hockey World CupEdit

Ireland were finalists and silver medallists at the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup.[24][25][26][27] Deirdre Duke scored twice against the United States as Ireland won their opening pool stage game 3–1. Shirley McCay was also on target for Ireland.[28][29][30][31] In their second pool game against India, Anna O'Flanagan's goal secured a 1–0 win for Ireland and a place in the quarter-finals.[32][33][34][35][36][37] Ireland lost their third pool game against England. However, after winning their first two games, they had already qualified for the knockout stages.[38] The quarter-final against India finished 0–0 but Roisin Upton, Alison Meeke and Chloe Watkins were all on target as Ireland won the penalty shoot-out 3–1.[39][40][41] Ireland coach Graham Shaw hailed Ayeisha McFerran's performance in the penalty shoot-out after she saved three out of the four India penalty strokes.[42] In the semi-final against Spain, O'Flanagan scored her second goal before Spain equalised and the game finished 1–1. In the subsequent penalty shoot-out, Ireland won 3–2, with Gillian Pinder scoring twice and McFerran again saving three penalty strokes.[43][44][45][46][47][48][49] Despite losing the final 6–0 to the Netherlands,[50][51] Ireland were acclaimed for their overall performance in the tournament. They had begun the tournament as underdogs, the second lowest seed. They were ranked 15th out of sixteen teams taking part. Their team was made up of part-timers and amateurs while in the final they played a team of full-time professionals.[52][53][54][55][56] It was reported in The Irish Times that the players had to pay €550 to compete.[53][57] Although this claim was subsequently denied by both Sport Ireland and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.[58] Following their appearance in the World Cup final, Ireland moved up to a best ever eighth position in the FIH World Rankings. Their previous highest ranking position was 14th.[59]

Women's Hockey Champions ChallengeEdit

Season Place
2009 Women's Hockey Champions Challenge II 3rd
2011 Women's Hockey Champions Challenge I 6th
2012 Women's Hockey Champions Challenge I 3rd
2014 Women's Hockey Champions Challenge I 2nd

World League/Hockey SeriesEdit

Season Place
2012–13 Women's FIH Hockey World League 23rd
2014–15 Women's FIH Hockey World League 15th
2015 Dublin Tournament 1st
2016–17 Women's FIH Hockey World League 13th
2017 Kuala Lumpur Tournament 1st
2018–19 Women's Hockey Series

Between 2012 and 2017 Ireland competed in the Women's FIH Hockey World League. In March 2015 they won a Round 2 tournament hosted in Dublin, defeating Canada in the final after a penalty shoot-out.[60][61] In January 2017 they won a Round 2 tournament in Kuala Lumpur, defeating Malaysia 3–0 in the final with goals from Anna O'Flanagan, Katie Mullan and Zoe Wilson.[62][63] Ireland's seventh-place finish in at the 2016–17 Women's FIH Hockey World League Semifinals eventually saw them qualify for the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup.[64][65][66]

EuroHockey ChampionshipsEdit

Tournament Place
1984 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 5th
1987 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 7th
1991 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 8th
1995 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 8th
1999 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 9th
2003 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 6th
2005 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 5th
2007 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 6th
2009 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 5th
2011 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 6th
2013 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 7th
2015 Women's EuroHockey Championship II 1st
2017 Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship 6th

Ireland competed in every edition of the top division of the Women's EuroHockey Nations Championship between 1984 and 2013. However, after finishing 7th in 2013, they were relegated to the second division, the Women's EuroHockey Championship II. Ireland subsequently returned to the top division after winning the 2015 Women's EuroHockey Championship II, defeating the Czech Republic 5–0 in the final.[67]

Invitational tournamentsEdit

Tournament Place
2012 Women's Hockey Investec Cup 6th
2016 Hawke's Bay Cup 5th
2017 Women's Four Nations Cup 2nd

Current squadEdit

2018 Women's Hockey World Cup squad.

Head coach: Graham Shaw

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Club
1 1GK Grace O'Flanagan (1989-04-07)7 April 1989 (aged 29) 34   Railway Union
19 1GK Ayeisha McFerran (1996-01-10)10 January 1996 (aged 22) 73   Louisville Cardinals

4 2DF Yvonne O'Byrne (1992-01-02)2 January 1992 (aged 26) 113   Cork Harlequins
11 2DF Megan Frazer (1990-10-02)2 October 1990 (aged 27) 128   Mannheim
12 2DF Elena Tice (1997-11-16)16 November 1997 (aged 20) 68   UCD Ladies
23 2DF Hannah Matthews (1991-03-24)24 March 1991 (aged 27) 108   Loreto
27 2DF Zoe Wilson (1997-02-15)15 February 1997 (aged 21) 74  Belfast Harlequins

10 3MF Shirley McCay (1988-06-07)7 June 1988 (aged 30) 267   Pegasus
15 3MF Gillian Pinder (1992-05-05)5 May 1992 (aged 26) 137   Pembroke Wanderers
18 3MF Roisin Upton (1994-04-01)1 April 1994 (aged 24) 39   Cork Harlequins
20 3MF Chloe Watkins (1992-03-07)7 March 1992 (aged 26) 194   HC Bloemendaal
21 3MF Lizzie Colvin (1990-01-04)4 January 1990 (aged 28) 160   Belfast Harlequins
30 3MF Alison Meeke (1991-06-07)7 June 1991 (aged 27) 114   Loreto

8 4FW Nicola Evans (1990-01-17)17 January 1990 (aged 28) 163   Uhlenhorster HC
9 4FW Katie Mullan (C) (1994-04-07)7 April 1994 (aged 24) 151   UCD Ladies
14 4FW Emily Beatty (1996-01-26)26 January 1996 (aged 22) 78   Pembroke Wanderers
22 4FW Nicola Daly (1988-04-03)3 April 1988 (aged 30) 163   Loreto
26 4FW Anna O'Flanagan (1990-02-18)18 February 1990 (aged 28) 168   HC Bloemendaal
28 4FW Deirdre Duke (1992-06-09)9 June 1992 (aged 26) 103   UCD Ladies

Source: [68][69][70][24][26][71]


CoachesEdit

Years
19xx–1998   Terry Gregg [14][72]
1998–2006   Riet Kuper [73][72]
2006–2012   Gene Muller [74][75]
2013–2015   Darren Smith [76]
2015–2019   Graham Shaw [76]
2019–   Sean Dancer

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

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