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The senior girls hockey squad and staff departed Midleton College on Monday April 10th at the ungodly hour of 4:45am to travel to Rosslare. Having arrived in Fishguard, we travelled on to Cardiff, which would be our base for the duration of the tour.
That evening we played our first match against an u15/Veterans XI side from Bridgend, played in Pencoed Comprehensive School. We played the u15 team in the first half and won 2-1, with goals coming from Becky Oppermann & Zara Bowles. In the second half we played the veterans side and drew 2-2, with goals coming from Charlotte Walsh & Zara Bowles. After the match, the Bridgend veterans captain presented our player of the match (Zara Bowles) with a memento, a hockey grip. That evening we enjoyed a meal at Bella Italia before returning to our hotel for the night.
On Tuesday, the girls had a pro coaching session with Jo Westwood, a Welsh Ladies international with over 60 caps. This took place in Sport Wales headquarters in Sophia Gardens. The girls were in awe at the facilities there and thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hour session. They also seemed to get a lot out of it, which was most pleasing.
Once the girls had showered and changed, it was time for lunch. Then they were given some free time to explore and shop in Cardiff, as our walking tour of Bath was cancelled.
That evening, we played a match against Gwent HC u18s in Cwmbran Stadium. In a very tightly contested match of many chances, near misses and end to end hockey that could have gone either way, but it ended honours even 0-0. Later that evening we enjoyed a game of bowling coupled with burgers and chips at Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff, before returning to our hotel for the night.
On Wednesday, we checked out of our hotel and travelled to Carmarthen Leisure Centre for our final fixture of the tour against Carmarthen HC u18s. Similar to the Gwent match, it was a very even affair with a plethora of chances at either end, but alas there were no goals and it ended 0-0. We then travelled on to Fishguard for the ferry to Rosslare and then onwards back to Midleton, arriving back at 9pm.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and everyone had a great time. The girls were impeccably behaved throughout and everything worked out superbly well.
A huge thank you to Becky Oppermann and Charley Moore who acted jointly as captain on the trip for all of their endeavours in helping the trip to run smoothly, Mr Levis, Ms. Lawlor, Mr. Blaney and Ms. Kleinschmidt for giving up their time to travel on and facilitate the running of the trip and of course to Mr Levis who organised the trip.
The touring party was as follows: Becky Oppermann (c); Charley Moore (c); Diane Pope; Daisy Cardoso-Murphy; Katie Mariga; Maeve Rutledge; Tori Hosford; Sarah O'Donnell; Bryna Heffernan; Laura Casey; Shirley Bailey; Emily O'Hara; Charlotte Walsh; Laurna McHugh; Aoife Gill; Zara Bowles
(Pics in Gallery)