A whirlwind 2014 for Nick Burns continues after he was yesterday named as Ireland U21 captain for this week’s Four Nations tournament at Mossley.
The Cork native, a product of Midleton College and Cork Church of Ireland but currently with UCD, collected his first senior cap in January, having earned a reputation as a powerful drag-flicker with a penchant for flurries of goals in big games.
He is the sole Mu nster man in Jonny Caren’s 18-man selection to take on England, Germany and Scotland in Belfast this week.
There was further good news for the Burns family as Nick’s brother Alex was added to the Ireland U21 training panel ahead of this summer’s European championships.
Alex, still a schoolboy in Midleton and also part of the Irish U18 set-up, is joined in the panel by C of I clubmate Richard Lynch, while Simon Wolfe and UCC’s Gary Wilkinson are already in place.
The squad was selected on the back of the U21 interpros, which were won by Ulster with a clean sweep of victories in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Munster ran them close in the men’s tournament on Friday night, the northern province getting a contentious equaliser after Nick Burns and Simon Wolfe had put Muster in the front foot, before running out 4-2 winners.
Munster fell to a disappointing 3-1 loss to Ireland U18 on Saturday but bounced back to defeat Leinster 2-1, with Julian Dale and Stuart Miller finding the target, while James Phillips was inspirational between the sticks.
Ulster dominated the women’s tournament, scoring 16 goals without conceding any, but Munster finished their campaign on a high as goals from UCC pair Nicola Kerr and Sarah Browner helped them see off Connacht 2-1, a perfect 21st birthday present for captain Amy-Kate Trevor.
Domestically, UL’s recent resurgence continued as they clicked into gear against an out of sorts Fermoy, winning 4-0 in north Cork to all but assure themselves of Division 1 hockey next season. A relatively even game was decided by Steph Peters and Sorcha Carey’s superior finishing abilities and some tidy goalkeeping from Elaine O’Flynn against her childhood club.
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