Ireland women back in action following Champions Challenge

Chloe Brown of Ards
Chloe Brown of Ards

The Ireland women’s hockey team are back in action again over the next two weekends, scarcely a month after their heroics at the Champions Challenge in Glasgow.

Darren Smith’s side went home with a set of silver medals and will make a return to the same venue for a double header against their Scottish hosts on Friday night and on Sunday.

Next weekend the team head for a Tri Nations tournament in Italy with Wales also on the opposition list.

Ireland didn’t cross swords with the Scots in the Champions Challenge apart from in a friendly which Smith’s team won 2-1.

But they still have an old score to settle after defeat by Scotland saw them relegated into the second tier of the European Championship for the first time.

Smith has named a 21-strong squad for the two games and Ards striker Chloe Brown and her Pegasus counterpart Vanessa Surgeoner are among the seven Ulster players included.

“After the Champions Challenge tournament it will be great to see the girls who played in Glasgow alongside some who narrowly missed selection or were unavailable,” said Smith

“The more competition in the squad the better for (assistant coaches) Arlene, Graham, Mary and I to assess.

“Scotland will be a tough two games as they narrow their focus to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. We expect that they will be fit, drilled and ready to go.”

Ireland squad: Emily Beatty (UCD), Chloe Brown (Ards), Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute), Kate Dillon (Railway Union), Deirdre Duke (UCD), Nikki Evans (UCD), Megan Frazer (captain, Holcombe), Shirley McCay (Old Alex), Ayeisha McFerran (GK, Randalstown), Katie Mullan (UCD), Stella Davis (GK, Pembroke Wanderers), Ali Meeke (Loreto), Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), Anna O’Flanagan (UCD), Audrey O’Flynn (Hermes), Gillian Pinder (UCD), Cliodhna Sargent (vice captain, Cork Harlequins), Emma Smyth (Railway Union), Alex Speers (Railway Union), Vanessa Surgeoner (Pegasus), Chloe Watkins (Club De Campo).

Friday: Ireland v Scotland (7pm).

Sunday: Ireland v Scotland (12noon).