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World Cup panel not closed shop, insists Ireland manager Boyles

By John Flack

Ireland women's manager Arlene Boyles has reassured players who didn't make the World Cup training panel announced last week that the door is still open for places in the squad for the London showpiece.

Six Ulster players are included in a 29-strong panel as Ireland prepare to face England, United States and India in the group stages of the summer series.

Among the absentees are Ards striker Chloe Brown and Queen's University duo Erin Getty and Jessica McMaster.

Boyles said: "The initial squad of 29 is certainly not a closed shop and all members of the coaching team get videos of all the relevant club games which are reviewed weekly, and we all attend games every weekend and constantly assess players."

Boyles will certainly be spoiled for choice this weekend as she continues her scouting mission with the resumption of the EY Irish Hockey League campaign.

Top billing sees leaders UCD, who include Ulster girls Leah McGuire and Katie Mullan, face third-placed Pegasus at The Dub.

Boyles might also fit in the Belfast Harlequins and Railway clash earlier in the day.

Ards are still in play-off contention and a win over struggling Trinity in Dublin would be just the ticket.

Meanwhile, Queen's have opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Ulster Premier League following a 4-2 away win over Dungannon on Monday night.

Tori Hastings, Claire Whiteside (2) and Anna Hutchinson got the students' goals with Leanne Cassels and Karen Elliott replying for the Tyrone side, who trailed 3-1 at the break.

Dungannon have no game on Saturday but the Lurgan and Ballymoney clash is the big one.

TODAY: Premier: Nth. Down v Lurgan (7.30pm)

FRIDAY: Premier: Portadown v Mossley (7pm)

Senior One: Victorians v Lisnagarvey (8.15pm)

SATURDAY: Irish Hockey League: Belfast Harlequins v Railway (2.30pm); Cork Harlequins v Monkstown; Pegasus v UCD (4pm); Pembroke v Loreto (2.30pm); Trinity v Ards (2.30pm)

Premier: Lurgan v Ballymoney (2.30pm); North Down v Ulster Elks (1pm); Queen's v Randalstown (1pm); Rainey v Banbridge (4pm)

Senior One: Armagh v Ballymena (2.30pm); Ballyclare v Omagh (2.30pm); Knock v Raphoe (4pm); Priorians v CI (2.30pm)

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