Ulster U16 and U18 girls set for 2021-22 Interpro Finals

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After two years without a winner, the U16 and U18 girls Interprovincials competitions look set for a thrilling conclusion this Sunday, where Three Rock Rovers play host to the finals day.

Ulster feature in both games, the U16 girls taking on Leinster, with the U18 girls playing Munster. Ulster are current holders of both trophies, the last finals taking place back in late 2019. They will be hoping for a repeat of that day, but two tough tests await.

Barclay Communications Ulster U16 girls

Led ably by Captain Kia McCartney, the U16 girls finished second in the round robin games, with two victories over Connacht and Munster, and two narrows shoot out defeats after draws with Leinster South and Leinster. They will face a strong Leinster team who finished their pool games unbeaten, and there’s no doubt it will be a highly competitive encounter.

The full panel have been dedicated to the programme, and Head Coach Davy Menaul has utilised 25 players across the opening four games, highlighting his strong development ethos, and the talent amongst the group. 8 of the players selected for Sunday’s game will also be heading to the Netherlands over Easter, representing Ireland for the very first time. The squad is supported by Barclay Communications.

Kia McCartney is excited for Sunday’s big game:

‘We’re really looking forward to Finals Day, it’s been a fantastic season representing Ulster and to have the opportunity play Leinster in Dublin on Sunday in front of a big crowd will be a great occasion.  Huge thanks to our coaching team for all the hard work during the season, it’s much appreciated by everyone in the squad.’

Head Coach Davy Menaul:

‘The Ulster U16s have been training since Sept 2021. During this time the entire training group of athletes have pushed each other every session to improve and it is fantastic reward that the selected group now have an opportunity to  represent our full panel and play in an interpro final. The girls are excited by the challenge of playing a strong Leinster team, determined to perform well but most importantly enjoy themselves. The interpro final will be a great hockey occasion and I wish everyone taking part all the very best.’

Barclay Comms Ulster U16 girls Squad List
Isla Allen Larne Grammar Larne HC
Rachel Beattie Belfast Royal Academy Mossley LHC
Charlie Bowman Wallace HS Lisnagarvey HC
Alyssa Boyd Regent House School Ards
Grace Cowden Ballyclare High School Randalstown HC
Annie Cunningham Royal School Armagh Lurgan LHC
Joni Cunningham Royal School Armagh Lurgan LHC
Lily Gallagher Royal School Dungannon Dungannon HC
Lola Henderson Rainey Endowed Rainey
Katie Herron Killicomaine Junior High School Portadown LHC
Rachel Lennon Portadown College Portadown LHC
Rebekah Lennon Killicomaine Junior High School Portadown LHC
Kia McCartney (C) Coleraine Grammar Coleraine HC
Grace McCool Royal School Armagh Armagh HC
Chloe Patton Markethill High School Armagh HC
Erin Pim Methodist College Belfast Pegasus HC
Zoë Place Belfast Royal Academy Owls HC
Scarlett Taylor Royal School Armagh Armagh HC

 

Reserves
Joy Duncan Ballyclare Secondary Mossley LHC
Georgina McGuckin Ballyclare High School Mossley LHC
Ellie Burgess Belfast High School Mossley LHC

 

 

Staff

Head Coach: Davy Menaul

Assistant Coaches: Christine Russell, Gillian Hall, Rachel Hewitt

Goalkeeper Coach: Adam Henry

Manager: Emma Dunlop

 

Linwoods’ Ulster U18 girls

The U18 girls finished their round robin games unbeaten, with 3 wins v Leinster South, Munster and Connacht; and a shoot out victory after drawing with Leinster. Led by Ballymoney’s Sarah Kirgan, they meet Munster in the final, who also happened to be Ulster’s opponents in their final pool game, with Ulster edging the encounter 3-2. It will be another feisty occasion, with Munster putting in some excellent performances to date. The U18 staff have also utilised 25 players across the season, and competition for places has been high.

Co-Head Coach Suzanne Evans leads a strong all female coaching staff, and is hoping for another positive outcome:

‘This weekend sees a tremendous series of U18 girls hockey culminate in what should be a fantastic spectacle at Three Rock Rovers. Ulster’s 25 player squad have a lot to be proud of. It is a testament to the depth of Ulster hockey at this age group as they go into this weekend undefeated with all to play for against Munster.

Our closest game was of course the thrilling contest with Munster in February, so the girls are focussed on the challenge that lies ahead in the Interpro final.’

U18 player Sarah Kirgan hopes for lots of support on Sunday:

‘We are all really looking forward to Sunday where we will face Munster in the Interpro final. Having played them before in the final pool game, we are aware of the talent they have within their team and we know that we must play how we have played in previous games if we want to come out of the final with a positive result! The buzz amongst the team is great at the moment and we all cannot wait to get out on the pitch on Sunday and show everyone the hard work that we have put in over recent weeks! It would be much appreciated if you could make it to Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club on Sunday to support myself and the Ulster U18 girls in the 2022 Interprovincial final.’

Ulster U18 girls Final v Munster
Olivia Beattie Belfast Harlequins Belfast Royal Academy
Abbie Braniff Mossley LHC Belfast Royal Academy
Ella Brown (C) Lisnagarvey HC Friends’ School Lisburn
Alex Byrne Randalstown HC Ballymena Academy
Rachel Cox Randalstown HC Ballyclare HS
Enya Darby Pegasus HC Methody
Ellie Edwards Armagh Hc Royal School Armagh
Eva Gaston Coleraine HC Dalriada
Sophie Kidd Lisnagarvey HC Friend’s School Lisburn
Sarah Kirgan Ballymoney HC Coleraine Gramar
Ella Latuske Lisnagarvey HC Friends’ School Lisburn
Darcy McGall Lisnagarvey HC Friends’ School Lisburn
Kaia Moore Ballymoney HC Limavady Grammar
Anna Pim Pegasus HC Methody
Abbie Robinson Pegasus HC Wallace HS
Gabriella Scott Ulster Elks Rainey Endowed
Jodie Simmons Lisnagarvey HC Royal School Armagh
Emma Uprichard Belfast Harlequins Belfast Royal Academy

 

Reserves
Rachel Black Mossley LHC Ballyclare HS
Aoife Doyle Rainey HC Rainey Endowed
Amy Hunter Belfast Harlequins Methody

 

 

Staff

Head Coaches: Suzanne Evans and Caroline Adams

Assistant Coaches: Frankie Brown, Kerrie Magee

Goalkeeper Coach: Naomi McKnight

Manager: Sarah Craig

 

Talent Coach Shirley McCay:

‘To play for Ulster at any level is an honour, but to get the opportunity to play in a final is even more special. Both squads have been so committed to their respective programmes, and I hope they can savour every moment and play to their potential. No matter what they have done the Ulster Hockey family proud. I’d also like to acknowledge those on both squads who have missed out on selection for the final. They deserve huge credit for their hard work, and the competitiveness in both teams has pushed each player to be at their best. I would also like to thank Barclay Comms and Linwoods’ for their sponsorship and support.’

Ulster U16 v Leinster U16 Three Rock Rovers 2.45pm

Ulster U18 v Munster U18 Three Rock Rovers 4.45pm

Full Programme link can be found here:

https://www.flipsnack.com/leinsterhockey/draft-programme-2022-03-04-match-day-girls-interpros/full-view.html

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