Wednesday 20 February 2019

Hawkshaw pounces yet again as Girls in Green secure draw

Hockey

'Hawkshaw got on the end of an excellent move set in motion by Hannah Matthews and Ali Meeke towards the end of the third quarter.' Stock photo
'Hawkshaw got on the end of an excellent move set in motion by Hannah Matthews and Ali Meeke towards the end of the third quarter.' Stock photo

Stephen Findlater

Sarah Hawkshaw continued her lively start to life as an international, scoring her second goal in five appearances for Graham Shaw's Green Army as Ireland drew 1-1 with India in Murcia yesterday.

Hawkshaw got on the end of an excellent move set in motion by Hannah Matthews and Ali Meeke towards the end of the third quarter.

Ireland had fallen behind early on to a Gurjit Kaur effort but wore down the Indians in the second half, stretching their unbeaten record against the world number nine side to eight games.

The tie featured the return of Shirley McCay for her 275th international cap, while Lizzie Colvin lined out for the first time since last summer's World Cup and Chloe Brown, Ellen Curran, Leah McGuire and Sinéad Loughran made their first appearances of 2019 as coach Shaw continued to shuffle his deck ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.

Alexander Cox is to continue as Ireland senior men's coach on a longer-term basis and will oversee the 2020 Olympic qualifying campaign.

Cox oversaw last December's World Cup campaign, which ended in a group stage exit in India, a frustrating 1-1 draw with China the defining result. Nonetheless, the feedback from the players for the coach's methods was largely positive given the short time frame he had to work with the squad.

Hockey Ireland chiefs will be hoping for a thaw in the weather this weekend with the fixture-planners already playing catch-up.

Three Rock Rovers, for example, are three league games behind and the midweek cancellation of their Mills Cup match against Pembroke leaves them facing up to 24 fixtures along with European campaigns in Oslo and Eindhoven before mid-May.

Rovers' tie with Cookstown is touch and go as are Pembroke's trip to Banbridge and YMCA's game at Annadale.

On the women's side, round nine of the EY Hockey League has been moved from today to midweek dates to accommodate international matters.

Irish Independent

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