Rovers Representing with the Irish Men’s O50s
words and photos kindly supplied by Ed Simpson
Two very different strategies dealing with Covid 19 in England and Ireland, 10 weeks or so ago we would have said not a hope to travel to Nottingham International Tournament, and yet as the weeks and days rolled past this changed very quickly. For Ireland Men’s 50s it would be our first competitive match since semi finals of the Europeans in Krefeld August 2019. Boy it was so good to be back playing, very positive all round. There is a lot of admin that goes into preparation which within a 8 week period we managed to have 2 sessions to select a player pool for 2021, and then select for Nottingham, with a further three sessions/matches with our coach Hugh Harvey Kelly.
Yes ultimately we were ring rusty and it showed in our first match v Scotland, losing 1-3 (Steve Magee the scorer) however with a completely new style of play (some in the group had mentioned that in 40+ years they had never played this way), new group of players, etc every quarter we grew better and stronger, throughout this tournament. We played Wales in a close fought 2-2 battle having gone 1-0 down showing plenty of character coming from behind, super saves by both keepers with Darren Scott and Ian Stuart the scorers.
The benchmark for progress was naturally going to be England on the last day, we were still in it 1-2 down with David Sharpe scoring, when England scored in last 5 minutes, with keepers involved with plenty of action.
We feel the gap has been closed, playing a very good style and competitive hockey and are gearing up nicely in our development for World Cup Cape Town October 2022, the all new 50s are a band of brothers on and off the pitch.
Congratulations to all our Rovers Representing Ireland across O40s, 45s, 50s, 60s & 65s in the summer just gone and heading into 2022!
Irish Senior Men in Qualifier action
Congratulations to all current and out on loan Rovers who have been selected for the men’s World Cup qualifiers which get underway next week in Cardiff.
Everyone at the Club wishes, Jaime Carr, Luke Madeley, Daragh Walsh, Conor Empey and Ben Walker all the best over the coming week or so!
Full details on the squad and matches can be found here:
Third Team selection for World Cup Qualifiers
Congratulations to our very own Ali Keogh and her fellow Leinster & Irish umpire Shane O’Donnell who have been appointed to the FIH World Cup 2022 Qualifiers in Italy & Wales respectively. Ali has also been appointed to the Junior World Cup in South Africa in December!