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Ireland's Ayeisha McFerran nets top goalie award at Hockey World Cup

Consolation for Larne star as Ireland hit for six in final

By Lisa Smyth

A Larne woman has been named best goalkeeper of the Women's Hockey World Cup after her outstanding contribution in getting Ireland to the final.

It was a bittersweet moment for 22-year-old Ayeisha McFerran, coming moments after the Netherlands ended Ireland's hopes of being crowned the world's best.

The Netherlands became hockey world champions a record eighth time thanks to their emphatic 6-0 victory against their underdog opponents.

Prior to the final, Ayeisha's father George McFerran revealed he had been given a last minute reprieve from work to travel to London to watch Ireland's bid for World Cup glory.

The Larne lass was instrumental in her side's historic progress to the final, having performed fantastically in two earlier penalty shootouts against India and Spain.

Mr McFerran, a kitchen porter, said: "I haven't been to any other games as I couldn't get time off work. But I was watching them play Spain on my phone in my break and when it came to the penalty shootout I said to my colleagues what was going on and we huddled round the phone.

"I knew how good she is at penalties and I told everyone she was going to do it.

"Everyone was cheering the team on, especially as Ayeisha delivered the goods. My boss turned around to me and said they were sure that I really wanted to go to the final, so they gave me today off work."

See Sport, pages 54-55

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