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Frazer firmly in World finals frame

 

By John Flack

Megan Frazer looks set to be fit to take part in the World Cup in July after playing two games for Mannheimer at the EuroHockey Club Cup in Surbiton over the weekend.

The 27-year-old midfielder had a recurrence of a knee problem during a recent club match in Germany and suffered bone bruising.

However, early fears that Frazer ould miss the World Cup after being out for 16 months with bad cruciate ligament damage which required surgery would now appear to have been allayed.

The Londonderry woman sustained the injury in a training session in October 2017, shortly after signing a two-year deal with the Bundesliga club.

Mannheimer are the current league leaders and have qualified for the end-of-season play-offs in early June, giving Frazer plenty of additional match practice ahead of the World Cup.

Having missed her team's opening match in Surbiton, she came off the bench in Friday's 2-1 win over Irish representatives UCD and in yesterday's 7-0 victory over Belarussians Victorya Smolevich.

Also yesterday, UCD lost 4-0 to Surbiton and therefore finished in bottom place in the tournament, increasing chances that next year's Irish representatives Loreto will be relegated to Europe's second tier.

Elsewhere, Ireland's Under 16s fell to a third successive defeat in the three nations tournament in Dusseldorf, going down 3-0 to the Netherlands.

There was better news for the Ulster U14s who are in with a chance of finishing in fourth place at the prestigious Holland Elite Cup tournament in Schiedam.

After a win and a loss on Saturday, Ulster began yesterday with a 3-1 win over Real Polo Club de Barcelona, with goals from Jodie Simmons, Lucy McCartney and Anna Gillespie.

They then defeated the hosts 4-0 with Gillespie, Simmons (2) and Megan Cochrane on target before finishing a gruelling day with a penalty shoot-out loss to Tilburg after a 2-2 draw.

Simmons and McCartney got the goals for Joel Cathcart's team against the Dutch side and Ulster now play German side Harvestuder in the first of two play-off matches today (8am).

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