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Irish to face GB golden girls ahead of World Cup

 

By John Flack

Ireland are to play Olympic gold medallists Great Britain in three glamour friendlies ahead of the World Cup in London next year.

The matches are scheduled for Bisham Abbey in March as part of an intensive build up before the showpiece.

Ireland have been drawn to face England, along with the United States and India in the group stages of the World Cup so the three internationals will give them an insight as to what to expect from the host team next July. Ireland finished the Tri-Nations tournament in Spain with a fourth successive defeat on Saturday when they went down 3-1 to Belgium,

However, assistant coach Arlene Boyles was satisfied with the trip in which Ireland boss Graham Shaw blooded seven Under-21s, including Ulster's Jessica McMaster and Erin Getty, who had a fine game on Saturday.

Boyles said: "It was a really worthwhile trip with an inexperienced squad at senior level and, while we were disappointed with the results, we were pleased with the way the team handled themselves in a tough week."

"There was a lot of work done off the pitch as well as on it, with the more experienced team members guiding the younger ones as to what it means to play on the national team."

Meanwhile, Dungannon have taken over at the top of the Ulster Premier League from Ballymoney after Georgina Mulligan hit a 45th minute winner from the penalty spot in a 2-1 home victory over Randalstown.

Money now trail the Tyrone side on goal difference after dropping their first points in a 1-1 draw with Mossley

Rainey beat fellow-strugglers North Down 3-0 while Banbridge defeated Ulster Elks 2-1 in the other top-flight game to move off the bottom.

RESULTS: Tri-Nations: Ireland 1 (S Torrans) Belgium 3; Ulster Premier: Ballymoney 1 (R Minihan) Mossley 1 (N McDowell); Banbridge 2 (P Haugh, C Brush) Ulster Elks 1 (J Allen); Dungannon 2 (J Elliott, G Mulligan) Randalstown 1 (N Mott); Rainey 3 (K Ferguson 3) North Down 0; Portadown v Lurgan postponed. Senior One: Ballyclare 3 (J Purdy, T Wallace, J West) Priorians 2 (G Hand, N Lowry); Ballymena 10 (C Gillespie 4, R Reynolds 3, A Logan, C McCracken, E Anderson) Knock 0; Lisnagarvey 3 (R Houston 2, S Holdsworth) CI 0; Omagh 2 (L Pinkerton, A Buchanan) Victorians 3 (E Cutrona 2, K Porter); Raphoe 1 (E Harpur) Armagh 0.

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