Squads - Womens - 03-14 St Patricks Weekend Tournament
St. Patrick's Weekend Tournament,
Craigavon, Northern Ireland
March 14th 2009
Ireland U-19 'A'
Back row: Marie Sheridan (Coach), Kate Bryan (Loughrea), Aoife Cooney (Loughrea), Lisa McGreal (Claremorris), Orla Fitzpatrick (Naas), Sinead Ruth (St Leo's Carlow); Crona Byrne (Manager);
Front row: April Higgins (Claremorris), Lorraine O’Shea (Kilkenny), Aoife Caulfield (Naas), Regina Halpin (Loughrea), Stephanie Mellett (Claremorris),
Ireland U-19 'B'
Back row: Marie Sheridan (Coach), Sinead Ruth (St Leo’s Carlow), Orla Fitzpatrick (Naas), Clodagh Behan (Waterford), Deirdre O’Sullivan (St Leo’s Carlow), Shauna Maher (Loughrea), Stephanie Mellett (Claremorris), Crona Byrne (Manager),
Front row: Deirdre McCaul (Naas), Regina Halpin (Loughrea), Aoife Caulfield (Naas), Amy Brett (Claremorris), Stephanie Delaney (Claremorris).
Northern Ireland U-19
Northern Ireland U-16 1-3 Republic of Ireland U-19B
Northern Ireland U-19 3-0 Republic of Ireland U-19A
The Irish U-19 squad had mixed results in the annual St Patrick’s Day Internationals against Northern Ireland in Craigavon Senior High School last Saturday, March 14th.
The ‘B’ squad were first onto the court to take on the Northern U-16 girls at 12.30. All but one of the Irish players were competing in a full international for the first time but showed very few nerves and got off to a great start, thanks mainly to some strong serving by setter Regina Halpin.
The visitors took the first two sets quite comfortably, with Sinead Ruth in particular hitting very well through the middle. The newest members of the squad, Deirdre O’Sullivan, Clodagh Behan and Aoife Caulfield, really held their own and turned in great performances, while Orla Fitzpatrick was strong in defence.
The third set saw the introduction of Shauna Maher and Deirdre McCaul, but the Irish team lost focus a little and slipped behind as Northern Ireland improved and grew in confidence. Northern Ireland bravely held their lead, taking the set 25-20.
Ireland renewed their concentration in the fourth set following some tough words from coach Marie Sheridan. The combination of Regina Halpin, Sinead Ruth and Stephanie Mellett helped put the pressure on Northern Ireland, and some good serving from Stephanie Delaney ensured the set and a 3-1 victory for the Republic girls.
Next was the clash with the Northern U-19 team. Ireland started nervously and the home side took an early lead, mainly thanks to some strong hitting despite some strong defence from libero Aoife Caulfield. They never lost the advantage, holding on to take the set 25-17.
The second set saw more of the same from Northern Ireland, despite good hitting from Orla Fitzpatrick and Lisa McGreal. Serving errors at crucial times cost the visitors dearly and Northern Ireland made the most of the advantage.
Coach Marie Sheridan said afterwards that she was very proud of everyone who received their first caps for their country, and especially happy with the newest members of the squad, who performed so well on the day. “There’s a lot of work for us to do before competition in January,” she added.
Ireland started the third set more brightly as they seemed to get into the rhythm of the game a little better with good combinations of setting from Regina Halpin and hitting from Kate Bryan and Stephanie Mellett. However, Northern Ireland were determined not to let the match slip from their grasp and held on for a 3-0 victory.