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Megan could pull on the Ireland green in Dublin after 18-month lay-off

By John Flack

Megan Frazer could make her long-awaited comeback for Ireland in this week's Three Nations tournament against Chile and Italy in Dublin.

The Ulster woman had been sidelined for 18 months after knee surgery and only recently returned to action for German club Mannheimer.

However, she suffered further knee damage and underwent a third operation last month but was included in Ireland’s 18-strong World Cup squad.

Frazer missed last week’s build up games with Japan in Cork for intensive rehab but she is poised to return for at least part of this week’s series at Pembroke.

Ireland manager Arlene Boyles said: “We are aiming for Megan to participate at some stage through training and/or playing this week and it will be great to see her back in the group.”

Ireland lost the three-match series with Japan 2-1 but finished on a high following a 2-1 win in the final game on Saturday.

Boyles added: “The series was a great learning week.  A lot of hard work went in and to finish with a win takes us nicely into a tapering week in Dublin before the World Cup.”

It was a much-improved display by Graham Shaw’s team on Saturday but they left it late to seal the win after falling behind to Minami Shimizu’s spectacular 12th-minute.

Ireland forced just two penalty corners but converted both, Anna O’Flanagan levelling in the 43rd minute when she deflected in Hannah Matthews’ pass.Then with just 80 seconds left, Loreto defender Matthews grabbed the winner with a  set-piece.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Under 18 girls rounded off  preparations for this week’s European Championship trip to Spain with a 2-1 series win over Scotland. The Irish youngsters, coached by Ards boss Gareth Grundie lost 2-1 yesterday after beating the Scots 3-0 on Friday and Saturday.

Results: Saturday: Ireland 2 (A O’Flanagan, H Matthews) Japan 1; U18 internationals: Friday: Ireland 3 (C Hamill, C Perdue, N Benallal) Scotland 0; Saturday: Ireland 3 (H Kelly, Y Pratt, A Elliott); Sunday: Ireland 1 (S O’Brien) Scotland 2; U16 internationals: Friday: Ireland 6 (M Lynch, A Murray 2, N Torrans, N Mcivor, E Paul) Scotland 1; Saturday: Ireland 3 (N Barry E Lavell, J McCarlie) Scotland 0; Sunday: Ireland 3 (N Torrans 2, N Barry) Scotland 0.

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