Irish Hockey is currently at an all-time high. The Irish Women’s Hockey team play India this evening in the World Cup quarter-finals, after causing a major shock in their pool. However, this isn’t the only Women’s Hockey team representing Ireland on the world stage. Ireland currently have four squads representing the nation at the EXIN Masters World Cup in Terrassa Spain, at Club Egara.
The Masters World Cup is split into six categories by age, and Ireland have teams in the 40+’s, 45+’s, 50+’s and 55+’s.
The tournament tipped off on the 27th July and ends on the 5th August. The games are played in Terrassa which was where the hockey matches for the 1992 Olympic Games were held. At this Master’s World Cup, matches are played continuously day after day with little rest in between games, with soaring temperatures of 37 degrees heat!
The 40+’s side have qualified for the quarter-finals after defeating New Zealand 1-0 on Monday.
— Geezer McVee (@GeezerMcVee) July 29, 2018
They began the tournament in Pool C with the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland in their group. After drawing with the Netherlands 1-1, defeating Scotland 6-0 and losing to Germany 1-0, the 40+’s finished third in their group. This subsequently qualified them for the next round where they were matched against New Zealand whom they ended up beating.
The over 40’s will now play the Netherlands today in the quarter-finals at 4pm Irish time. This can be viewed here.
At the moment, Alison Farrell is the top scorer, bagging 4 goals for the over 40’s.
The 45+’s unfortunately did not qualify for the next round of the competition. Facing stiff competition in their category, they were defeated by Australia, the Netherlands and Scotland. After beating France in their previous pool game, Ireland face Australia in the final game of the pool. Although progression to the next round is not possible, they Their category is the strongest in the competition, but they will continue playing in order to finish in as high a position as possible, with 5th place still a realistic possibility.
The EXIN Masters World Cup was started seven years ago and takes place every two years. The tournament is promoted by the International Master Hockey Association and has worldwide recognition by the International Hockey Federation.
The 50+’s started their tournament in Pool B against Argentina. The Green Army won 2-0 before beating Chile with the same score-line two days later. In the final game of the group, Ireland played the USA and managed a 2-1 victory which left them top of the pool with 9 points and three wins from three.
Moving into the quarter-finals, the Green Army once again faced the USA yesterday evening. They managed to repeat the score from the pools, edging the American’s out 2-1 thanks to some fine goalkeeping by Pamela Chittick. The goals were scored by Julie Doak and Kathy Shaw for the 50+’s.
Ireland now face Scotland today at 8pm Irish time. The match can be watched here. If they manage to beat Scotland, they will play in the final on Saturday at 5.30pm.
The over 50’s will be hoping to better their success at the 2016 Master’s World Cup in Australia where they took Silver. Julie Doak is the current top scorer for the 50+’s with 4 goals in total.
The over 55’s began their campaign with a big scalp against the Netherlands, defeating them 2-0 in Pool B. Following this, they defeated Canada with a convincing 5-0 victory. In the final group game with qualification already guaranteed, England edged out the 55+’s with a 3-0 win.
2-0 l55’s pic.twitter.com/rNEEaGg2R2
— Ireland Masters Hockey (@IrelandMasters) July 28, 2018
Finishing second in the group, Ireland are now drawn with Scotland, England and Australia. The 55+’s face Scotland today at 16:55pm and Australia tomorrow at 17:10pm.
The top two in the group will face each-other in the final on Sunday 9:35am.The over 55’s, took home silver in last year’s European Championships and will be hoping to have similar success this World Cup.