Ireland boys face difficult opener against defending champions England

Ireland hope home advantage will help them regain the Boys Home International title at County Louth over the next three days.

It was an extremely tight affair at Harlech in North Wales last summer with Ireland taking the wooden spoon which means they open today against defending champions England.

Revenge will be very much on their minds as they were crushed 11-4 by the English at Harlech.

They can take heart from the fact that several of their team have been in form this summer and they made the top flight in last month’s European Boys Team Championship.

Gavin Moynihan, the McEvoy Trophy winner, has been particularly impressive and Robin Dawson and Alex Gleeson have shown up well while John Ross Galbraith reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 British Boys Championship.

Ireland also launch their bid for a first-ever Girls Home International title at Radyr in South Wales today with a huge task against England who have dominated the event since it became a full-blooded four-cornered series more than four decades ago.

Runners-up to the English at Gullane last August, they are without the Slieve Russell twin sisters Leona and Lisa Maguire who have been competing in the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle and they will be a massive loss to the team.

There are three new caps in the Irish side which is captained by Niamh Kitching; Lurgan’s Niamh Ward, Jessica Ross of Donaghadee and Mary Doyle from The Heath.

Chloe Ryan, the Castleroy teenager who is also a senior international and Olivia Mehaffey from Royal County Down are the most experienced players in the team.

Ireland follow up their opening-day battle against England with a match against Wales and conclude on Thursday against Scotland.


Lifestyle

As the clocks go ahead, so does your style. Corina Gaffney picks your new wardrobe heroesFashion forward: Spring fashion as the clocks change

Des O'Sullivan gives an overview of the changed dates for much-anticipated salesAntiques & FIne Art: What events are put on hold for now?

Virtual auctions a welcome distraction, writes Des O’SullivanBuyers adapt with ease to bid online while grounded

I wish I could write us all back in time, when we could pop to the shops without fear, when grandparents did not have to wave through a window at their grandchildren.Michelle Darmody: Recipes with simple ingredients

More From The Irish Examiner