Shaw set to lead side on to World Cup stage

GRAHAM Shaw will lead his Ireland senior women’s hockey squad onto the World Cup stage this coming Saturday when they open up their campaign against USA in Lee Valley Stadium in London.

The Firhouse man has seen his side bridge a 16-year-gap since the country was last represented at the women’s World Cup.

Graham Shaw DSC 46261

The squad, which includes Loreto trio Hannah Matthews, Nicci Daly and Ali Meeke with their clubmate Sarah Torrans among the reserves, will kick off their tournament with a match against USA on Saturday.

This will be followed by a clash with India on Thursday and a meeting with tournament hosts England the following Sunday, with both games also schueduled for Lee Valley.

Ireland will be coming into this tournament on the back of a 2-2 draw against Italy in their final home World Cup preparation match at Pembroke Wanderers.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 16 minutes through Maryna Vynohradova’s effort deflected into the back of the net.

Yet their lead lasted less than a minute when Nikki Evans got on the end of Katie Mullan’s delivery in to direct it home before Zoe Wilson edged the hosts in front by way of penalty corner.

Fererica Carta restored parity in the second half during which Meeke went close to a third for the hosts, but her attempt travelled the wrong side of the posts while Matthew’s set-piece strike went even closer.

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