Friday, August 28, 2009

Symmons cleared for Russia

Following a review, Nikki Symmons has been cleared to play in Ireland’s final EuroHockey Nations Championships against Russia tomorrow morning (7.30am, Irish time).

The midfielder received yellow cards against both Spain (dissent) and Azerbaijan (breaking down play) which made her liable to receive a one-game suspension and limit Ireland to four substitutes for their next fixture.

However, the review panel deemed that, due to the offences relating to totally separate incidences, Symmons received only a written reprimand and a warning that should she incur a further yellow card, a one-game suspension for herself and Ireland would carry over to the next ranking tournament.

The Loreto woman will now likely take her place at left midfield as Ireland look to equal their best ever finish in European competition with a win over Russia guaranteeing fifth place – a position Ireland reached once before in Dublin in 2005.

Margins between glory and despair are tight, though. A draw will keep Ireland in the A division while a loss means Ireland could be relegated to the second tier of European hockey, depending on the outcome of the match between Azerbaijan and Scotland.

* The geo-block that meant Irish viewers were unable to see live streaming of matches in Amsterdam on has now been lifted but will only be available for the semi-finals and final matches.

Unfortunately, Ireland’s match with Russia is not going to be streamed live but there will be a live ticker on the front page of or on The Hook’s own match-tracker at

RTE will show an hour-long special on Ireland's campaign on Monday, August 31 on their OB Sport programme. Check for the exact broadcast time.


Anonymous said...

good luck to the girls against russia, 5th place would be great and would keep all those doubters quiet for another while at least!

does 4th place in the euros in 2011 secure an olympic place?

Stephen Findlater said...

Based on the 2008 qualifiers, possibly.
For Beijing, four European teams qualified with the top three from the Europeans qualified directly (Ned, Ger and England/GB) with Spain winning a WCQ.

England were bronze medalists in 2007 and took one of the top three places.

They (as GB) are already qualified as hosts of London2012 so top four possibly qualify should England make the top three again in 2011

Anonymous said...

They were seeded 5th going into this tournament... and if they finish 5th then they played to their seeding... nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, where do you get the fifth ranking from? On world list, they are the sixth best ranked.

Bearing in mind Scotland have no chance of gaining Olympic qualifier points, they are no pushovers either despite their world ranking.

This side has lost some serious players like Linda Caulfield and Ciara O’Brien in the past year, fifth would be a fairly decent return if achieved.

Nice to see you get the negativity in early, though.

Anonymous said...

Seeding... I said seeding...

Yes, according to "World Rankings" which takes into account performance and results in all competitions from Olympics, World Cups, Champions Cup, Trophies and Challenges etc. Ireland are the 6th highest ranked European team in the World.

However, Ireland were "seeded" 5th in the European Nations as this seeding is not based on any other competions, only Ireland's performance in previous European Nations where we have performed better than Azerbaijan.

So although Azerbaijan are "ranked" higher in the World, we were "seeded" higher in this particular competition.

Bango said...

Not sure I'd buy much into either rating system tbh but that seeding business is ridiculous... Az has barely been a country a wet weekend and have only one appearance in A division since starting to play the old stick ball - the last time out when they came in ahead of ireland.

just cos we got some results way back when, that logic hardly means we should come out ahead of them