Bar a tough 2-1 pool stage win over the hosts, Graham Shaw’s side have recorded comfortable wins against sides often defending with all 11 players in their own circle, defeating Kazakhstan (12-0), Hong Kong (10-0) in their pool and Singapore (10-0) in the quarter-finals.
Limerick women Róisín Upton and Rebecca Barry have scored their maiden international goals at the tournament and have since added three more between them while Anna O’Flanagan has notched 10 in four matches.
Ireland will be confident of another positive result as they face Wales, who struggled to overcome Kazakhstan 2-1 in yesterday’s last eight tie, in the semi-finals tomorrow. A final berth ensures Ireland qualify for World League 3, where the World Cup tickets will be doled out.
Meanwhile, Crescent College Comprehensive’s “drive for five” Munster Senior Schoolgirls Cups is on course despite some wobbles in Tuesday night’s 3-2 semi-final success against Villiers. They’ll now face the winners of today’s semi-final replay between Ursulines Thurles and Mount Mercy in Tipperary.
The sides played out a scoreless draw in Cork on Wednesday. Senior B Cup holders Regina Mundi advanced to the decider as Siobhan O’Donovan’s brace saw off Ursulines Thurles 2-0.
Dave Egner’s side will meet Midleton College — who they struggled to overcome 2-1 in the league — or Crescent in the final. In domestic club hockey, the tie of the weekend is the Irish Senior Cup meeting between Banbridge and Cork Church of Ireland at Havelock Park.
Bann won a fraught EYHL encounter 3-2 last week to go back to the top of the table, and C of I will be keen on revenge although they’ll be without Ireland U21 star Simon Wolfe who fractured his collarbone in that clash and will likely miss the rest of the season.