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Draw enough for Ireland girls to set up deciding clash with India


On target: Michelle Barry
On target: Michelle Barry

By John Flack

Ireland's Under-21 women have reached the final of the Four Nations tournament in Dublin after drawing 1-1 with Canada yesterday.

Dave Passmore's side, including five Ulster players, will face India in this afternoon's decider (3.45pm).

Ireland went in front with an early goal from Michelle Barry before the Canadians levelled in the dying minutes through Anna Cavanho.

Ireland's senior women will play Korea in a practice match this afternoon at Havelock Park as they continue their preparations for the first part of the Olympic qualifying process, which gets underway with a game against Malaysia on Saturday at the same venue.

The hosts need a top-two overall finish in the FIH Hockey series to progress to the final eliminator, and also face Czech Republic and Singapore with Korea, Ukraine, Scotland and France in the other pool.

Ireland's senior men continue their build up for the first stage of their Olympic qualifying campaign tonight when they face off against France at Lisnagarvey (7pm).

The teams could meet again in the latter stages of the FIH Hockey series event, which gets under way in France on June 15.

Nine Ulster players are in the 18-man squad for the trip, including ex-Garvey forward Sean Murray, now playing for Rotterdam, who says tonight's game will be a useful exercise.

The 22-year-old said: "The game will give us an insight as to how France play and what to expect if we meet them again."

Meanwhile, seven Ulster players have been included in the Ireland Under-21 men's squad for the second-tier European Championship, scheduled for the Czech Republic in July.

The Banbridge trio of Luke Witherow, Alex Tinney and goalkeeper Luke Roleston are joined by Cookstown's Josh McCabe, Matthew Crookshanks - who plays in England with Beeston - Callum Robson (Annadale) and Scott McCabe (Queen's).

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