Mixed fortunes for masters teams on day 2
Playing at 10.00am in Pembroke the Irish O40s dominated the Scottish O40s throughout the game. Half way through the 1st half Hazel Agar put them ahead when she picked up the ball and snapped home a quick shot. They increased their lead before half time when Captain Gillian Garrett scored from a penalty corner strike. They consolidated their lead further when Julie Bell pounced on a corner rebound and Ash Schutte deflected her shot over the keeper. Final score 3-0 to Ireland. In the other match in this group England beat Wales 8-0. Ireland face England on Sunday at 11.00am in Pembroke, needing a result to win the tournament while England, with a better goal difference, only need a draw.
The Irish O45s had another draw, this time against Scotland. Although Ireland dominated, the first half remained goalless. Ireland went ahead early in the second half when Belfast Harlequins' Clare Bell found the net. But Ireland were unable to build on the lead and Scotland equalised from a penalty corner half way through the half. Final score 1-1. England beat Wales 3-1 in the other match in the O45s category. Ireland O45s play England on Sunday in Pembroke at 2pm.
The Irish O50s played 2 matches in Railway - the English O50s at 10.30 and the Scottish O50s at 3.30pm. After their good performance against Wales on Friday the Irish team were confident that they could unsettle England, but found that the good basic skills of the English thwarted their game plan. If it had not been for a series of outstanding saves from goalkeeper Helen Roche the score could have been higher than the 4-0 final result. Ireland conceded too many corners, England scoring two of these in the first half and one in the second half, consolidating their win with a strong strike towards the end of the game.
In the second match against Scotland O50s, Scotland had the ball in the net first from a high but dangerously deflected corner shot which was not given. Soon afterwards Cathy Walsh scored from an Irish corner following a switch move - which was queried but deemed legitimate. Scotland equalised half way through the second half from a penalty corner. Ireland went ahead soon afterwards from the goal of the game when a superb turn by Ballyclare's Dee Wallace and cross into the circle found Cork CofI's Dymphna Hill who deflected the ball high into the net. But the second game of the day was starting to take its toll with tired legs and Ireland were unable to hold the lead for the remaining 7 minutes. Scotland equalised with a penalty corner switch and were awarded a stroke for a foot on the line 2 minutes from time. The Scottish stroke taker flicked it high over the bar and so the result remained 2-2. In the other games in the O50s section Scotland beat England O55s 3-1 and the England O55s beat Wales 3-2. Ireland O50s play England O55s at 12.15 (earlier than previously advertised) in Railway on Sunday.
(words by Helen Johnston)