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Shaw banking on Frazer to boost World Cup bid

 

By John Flack

Ireland women's coach Graham Shaw is quietly confident that Megan Frazer will be fit in time for July's World Cup in London.

The talismanic midfielder has been out of action for almost 16 months with a knee injury and is due to return to Germany where she is under contract at Bundesliga club Mannheimer.

In the meantime she has been coaching Ulster Elks and training with the Jordanstown outfit and Priorians when back home in Londonderry.

Shaw said: "Megan has had a tough, long road with her knee and a few setbacks along the way.

"We would have liked her back before now but she has definitely turned a corner in the past three or four months.

"She has progressed really well, running on the field with a lot of change of direction. It's now about making a decision about when she steps back on the field.

"We expect her back in some kind of hockey exercises with Mannheimer. We are excited by the talent she has and she will bring confidence to the team."

Shaw will shortly narrow down his extended squad ahead of away warm-up matches against Scotland and England next month.

Defender Cliodhna Sargent is also in contention for a comeback after returning from maternity leave.

She will be in the Cork Harlequins squad that faces Pegasus in a crucial EY Irish Hockey League game at Queen's on Saturday.

Pegasus, who have a game in hand, are just a point behind the Munster side, who in turn trail leaders UCD by four.

Team captain Alex Speers said: "The next two games are vitally important as we play UCD next and we certainly haven't given up on winning the title rather than just making it into the play-offs.

"We are looking forward to playing both the teams above us at home and, after that, we only have one out-of-province match, away to Loreto."

Pegasus hope that Belfast Harlequins can do them a favour by taking something from their game with UCD at Deramore.

Quins were unlucky not to have taken a share of the spoils from their last game with their Cork namesakes, going down 4-3 to a last-minute goal.

Ards travel to Dublin for an important game against Railway Union, with both sides still in contention for the play-offs.

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