Hockey

Ireland To Play GB On Home Soil For The First Time Since Olympic Qualification

Ireland, 2018 World Cup silver medallists and Team GB, Olympic champions, will go head-to-head in a three-match uncapped series this month. With the matches broadcast live on RTE and BBC, it will serve as with vital high-quality practice for the Green Army.

The games will take place on home soil and will mark the firs time an international match has taken place in Ireland since the Olympic Qualifier against Canada in November 2019.

The matches, will take place on March 13, 14, and 16. It marks the start of a  busy summer schedule featuring the EuroHockey Championships, which acts as a key qualification tournament for the 2022 World Cup, before the all important Tokyo Olympics in July.

The top five teams at the EuroHockey Championships, including hosts Holland and Spain will qualify for the World Cup. Ireland, who are currently ranked 8th in the world, are drawn in Pool A alongside Netherlands, Spain and Scotland.

Ireland are coming off the back of friendly matches against Spain where they recorded two wins, two draws and one loss in Murcia.

Game 5: ☘️ Ireland 4 – 4 Spain ??.

Goals: @zaramalseed, @deirdreduke28, @LenaTice x 2. #greenarmy #roadtotokyo pic.twitter.com/cOKFPV34aK

— Green Army (@IreWomenHockey) January 17, 2021

Speaking after the announcement, Irish captain Katie Mullan revealed the excitement of getting to put on the green vest again after all the distruption.

“Given the past 12 months, we are really excited to play these international matches at home,” said Ireland captain Katie Mullan. 

“The squad has been training hard throughout which showed in our recent matches against Spain. They are a strong team and we recorded two wins and two draws out of the five friendlies, putting us in a confident position going into our next block of training.  

“These matches against GB will be great preparation for the EuroHockey Championships this summer ahead of travelling to Tokyo. As current Olympic gold medallists, GB are an experienced and strong team, so this is a really good opportunity for us to put all the training into practice ahead of this summer.” 

The announcement came on the day of the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international field hockey match. A year after the establishment of the Irish Ladies Hockey Association, the match took place on the 2nd of March 1986 at Alexandra College, with the Irish Women recording a 2 – 0 victory over England, with goals from Johnson and Obre sealing the win.

Today is the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international ? match in 1896, between ?? and ???????.
? https://t.co/u6JOML6Ckp@FIH_Hockey @EnglandHockey @eurohockeyorg @irishhockey @sportinghistory @hockeyWrldNws @TheHockeyPaper @TheHockeyFamily #hockey #womeninsports pic.twitter.com/a5S33ljAS2

— The Hockey Museum (@hockeymuseum) March 2, 2021

Match dates, times, and where to watch:

Match 1: Saturday March 13th @ 2pm. BBC Sport NI website, BBC iPlayer. RTÉ Player TBC.

Match 2: Sunday March 14th @ 5pm. BBC Sport NI Online, BBC iPlayer, RTÉ 2.

Match 3: Tuesday March 16th @ 3pm. BBC Sport NI Online, BBC iPlayer. RTÉ Player TBC.

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a platform giving girls and women a voice in sport. Our mission is to level the playing field through increasing visibility, education and creating a cultural shift.
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