Stay tuned for up-to date diary events .

Players will also be giving a daily account of their days events while in Australia.

 

Sunday 19/08/07

 

 

Today was friggen awesome! Twas indeed our last day in the Land of Oz We spent our hours cuddling kangaroos and doting over Dingos! Gotcha didn’t i? On a more serios note, it was positively the best day of the trip by far. For all us gutsy hockey players, we headed on an excursion to the wet n’ wild regions of the rain forest where about 20 of us took a casual 50m freefall bungee jump. Nothing we couldn’t handle (cough, cough). The bungee jump was actually ridiculously amazing. What an adrenaline rush! Oh ya the other girls stayed at the resort and slept or shopped…. Something boring like that. After the bungee jumpers returned at about 1 ‘o clock, some of us got lunch. I on the other hand read some Harry Potter (had to get my fix!!) and took a much needed power nap. At 2 ‘o clock we decided that bungee jumping wasn’t crazy enough for one day so back to the rainforest we trekked and this time took a leisurely cruise down the Barron river in the form of white-water rafting. Sure wasn’t it great craic altogether. Naturally my raft was the best at manouvering those tricky rapids! Our crew included Noddy, Jeanne, Alex Lauren, Caitriona and our fine captain Dan ‘the man’ McKerrow! We had a buzzing time racing each other down the river until myself and Alex got thrown overboard for singing too much of Beauty and the Beast! We had to swim for shore before the crocs got us! After we got home from rafting some of the girls cooked in and the others (myself included) went out for dinner… paid for with Daddy’s platinum. It was all fine and dandy until it started raining! We all pegged it home! Now its like 00:06 and im sitting here writing this and everyones asleep and I haven’t even packed yet! TEAR! Plus we are going home tomorrow! DOUBLE TEAR!!! Well I better be off to get packing! I feel like I’m writing an essay! Cheerio folks J

 

By Meghan Harbison…. All on her lonesome!!

 

 

Saturday 18/08/07

 

The rain and clouds once again followed us. At seven o’clock rise meant an early start to a long day out at sea. A luxurious catamaran greeted us at Cairns port, which is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

 

The boat journey to the Barrier Reef lasted a long tedious and eventful hour and

an half. After some encouragement off Brenda we dragged ourselves off the boat, to encounter the most memorable sights of our trip so far. After a quick practice with the snorkels and fins we were ready to leave comfort of the boat and explore the barrier reef and experience its unforgettable scenery. Many people took on extra excursions to become more personal with the fish, these include the sightings of a shark and many other of favourite friends form “Finding Nemo”

 

After a long day out at sea we had to leave the spectacular scenery of the Barrier Reef to return back to stable ground. We finished our memorable day with a group dinner in central Cairns. This was thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated as most of us left our food behind us at one of the most beautiful places in the world.  

 

Erica Balfry and Aoife Kearney

 

Friday 17/08/07

 

Today was our first day in Cairns and we were all delighted to have a sleep in that morning. It was our first sleep in on the whole trip even though we had to have breakfast by 10 o’ clock that morning. The weather was disappointingly cloudy but was quite humid. After our lazy morning of shopping and lying by the pool all teams played their final matches.

 

 Junior A’s were the first team to play their match. They put up a hard battle but unfortunately they lost 1-0.

 

Next the Senior B’s played their match. They too put up a hard battle but lost their match also 3-0.

 

Finally the Senior A’s I played the last match of the tour. They ended the hockey on tour on a positive note by winning their match 4-0.

 

 After the matches all teams were free to look around the town and have dinner. Everyone enjoyed their first day in Cairns immensely

 

Kate Flinn & Aisling McGann

 

Thursday 16/08/07

 

It was another early rise where we collected everyone at St. pauls Grammar School and at Catherine McCauleys. We headed straight to Bondi beach where a few indulged in some more shopping whilest the adventerous went for a swim. It was back on the bus at 12 and straight to Sydney airport for the flight to Cairns. Some of us were very luckey not to miss the flight as there was two flights leaving for Cairns at the same time and one was delayed by an hour. The announcements led us to believe that it was our flight where in fact it was not!!! Only for the Luggage loaders could not find the bags for the girls missing/late then we would be leaving a few stragglers back in Sydney and that would have been interesting!!! Luckily we were just able to sneak them on board. We arrived in Cairns late evening and the temperature was 25 degrees. Everybody is impressed with the Lake Cairns Spa asnd Resort. It was in for a good swim for every body and a relaxing night.

 

Wednesday 15/08/07

 

On Wednesday we had an early start. We woke in our respective houses. First up was a trip to a Koala park. This was an experience for all. There were lots of animals to see including Koalas, Dingo’s, Kangaroos, Wallaroos and a variety of birds. We also enjoyed watching a man shearing a sheep with the help of Geena Kinevane!!

 

 

After a quick stop at the coffee shop we left for Catherine McCauley School where the Senior A’s played their match on grass and won respectively.

 

Goals were scored by Ciara Nolan and Kate Collins Smith. Leaving the Senior A’s to return to their billets, the Junior A’s and Senior B’s set off for Penrith for their matches against St. Paul’s Grammar School. The teams shared a huge success.

 

The Junior’s won their match 4-1 with goals from Orla Dunworth, Ciara Moloney and Aileen McMahon.

 

 The Senior B’s won 3-1 with goals from Caron Barry, Jessica Kennedy and Alex Kennedy. We returned home for our last night with our billets.

 

Aine Hogan and Orla Dunworth

 

Tuesday 14/08/07

 

 

This morning was quite relaxing and laid back….for a change.  We had the option of sleeping in(the wiser option), going to mass, or setting our alarms to get up to do some shopping….only to find out that the shops didn’t open until 10.30, which was the same time we were due to board the bus to head for training in Concord Stadium with Ivan and the Dutch guy. 

 

After training the Senior A team were dropped off to Catherine McAuleys Highschool and the Senior B and Junior A teams were brought to St. Pauls Highschool and where everyone met their billeting families. Here we were near Penrith and Windsor which is very close to the Outback. All around us was bush and the remains of charred threes from a recent bush fire. It was a pretty class day.

 

 

 

Alex Kennedy and Jeanne Spillane.

 

Monday 13/08/07

 

Today again was a nice relaxing start even if the bus picked us up an hour late for training. We went to Sydney Olympic Park for hockey training with top international coach Ivan Boulton and his crew. The stadium was purposely built for the 2000 Olympic games. Details on this training session will follow shortly. We had a quick lunch and we were separated for our matches. The Junior’s played outstanding hockey and demolished their team with an 8-0 defeat. The Senior B’s played out of their skin against very tough opposition and did exceptionally well to hold their own and only come out defeated 1-0. The anticipation was all about the Senior A’s. The girls were playing against one of the top teams in Australia, currently ranked 3rd. Again the Crescent girls showed true professionalism and talent and out on top with an 11-1 victory. For dinner we strolled down to Darling Harbour to Star City where we enjoyed an enormous buffet. Unfortunately the food was so good that we missed our late night film at the IMAX cinema which has the biggest screen in the world. Tomorrow it’s off packing and early morning shopping, training at 12 and meeting our hosts for the next billeting in the afternoon.  

      

      

       

      

                                  

       

 

Sunday 12th Aug

 

Today we got off to a great start with a lie-in for everybody until 9 O’ clock!!! Wow!!! After a lovely breakfast we set off for a day of sight seeing in Sydney. We all walked up to Darling Harbour with Sean’s great map reading!.. We were entertained on the way by some local power rangers!! Firstly we went to Sydney Aquarium where we saw everything from “Finding Nemo” fish to sharks.

                                                      

 

 It wont be long before we swim with all of these in the great barrier reef. Next we went on another cruise but this time there were no accidents, thankfully. From the boat we saw Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

 

After a quick lunch we went to see the Sydney Opera House up close and get some group photos. Then it was a sprint to “Paddy’s Market” for some much needed shopping!!

 

 At the moment we are all just off to Darling Harbour for a group dinner.

 

Fiona O’ Shea, Eimear McCartney

                                                       

 

11/8/07

 

It was our final day in Perth before we set off to Sydney! We got a small lie in until half nine, not a bad start! We all said goodbye to our hosts at the school and presented flowers to Edel and Kariss for all the hard work they put in for us!

 

 We set off to the airport at half ten to catch a one o clock flight! We had to say farewell to John Allen and his family, we would like to say thanks to John because he put in a lot of hard work for us, thanks John! We would also like to thank Linda, Hollie and Brian who, we would have been lost without ye in Perth, thanks so much! It was hard to say goodbye in the airport to everyone and a few tears were shed (Ciara Moloney and Jane Dickson cough cough!) After a long three hour flight from Perth to Sydney we arrived in Sydney to go to our Hotel in Chinatown, Capital Square Hotel! What a place! Tara says woo love! Wa wa wee wa!

 

 

 

Ciara Nolan and Tara Lyons

 

10/8/07

 

We woke early to a sight we knew too well, winter wind and rain. A packed schedule had us at the Methodist Ladies College at 8 o’ clock sharp. After a short bus journey and a quick safety talk we were surfing the wild waves of ‘Laten Beach’. The golden sands, calm crystal clear waters that we imagined were far from what we faced. After an agonising but fun battle with the rip, the currents and the flying surfboards we all enjoyed a relaxing lunch in a lovely but still raining Fremantle town. We trekked back to the school for our games. The Juniors were lucky enough to play on a top class water base pitch which was a new and exciting experience for many of them.

 

They put up a strong performance beating the Aussies 5-3 while the unfortunate Senior B’s dabbled in some of their hurling skills on a boggy grass pitch and were defeated 3-1. A new experience but fun all the same. The Senior A’s played an exciting game against St. Hildas high school. After a high tempo match the aussies proved victorious at 4-1 but our girls had a great performance.

 

 It was then back to our hosts for hot showers and a good feed. After the long tiring day the friendly faces were greatly welcomed and the cozy beds greatly appreciated.

 

Kate Collins Smith, Lauren Quinn Mc Donagh 

 

 

9/8/07

 

 

Day 2 of our training camp. This was more tacticaly based with the likes of techniques such as the drag flick, push outs, drills, eliminations and short corners. The goalies were put through their paces with a ball launcher and deflectors. After a very warm afternoon it was off to Fremantle to the Ladies Methodist College. This modern school is based on a spectacular site overlooking the Swan River. A very nice reception awaited us with drinks, sandwiches and cake. We were quickly divided to our hosts for the next two nights billeting and it was off for a nice relaxing evening.

 

 

8/8/07

 

 

 

Day one of our hockey training camp. Here we were taken by a number of top quality coaches, all of whom who have international participation. The pace was fast and furious with the girls learning how to squeeze the ball and thomahawk on the wrong foot along with many other skills. it was back to perth where some took the oppertunity to go shopping whilest a brave 16 went jet boating in Fremantle.

 

 

 

7/08/07

Some 'aul OAP's out for the bingo!!!! 

 

We woke up for the final time with our host families from Bunbury this morning!! We had an early start to the day as we had to meet at the motel at 8 o’clock.  We were then collected by our tour guide who brought us to the “very” educational Dolphin Centre!! We learned all about dolphins and even fed baby turtles they were raising in the Centre.

Sean and Tony went in for a dip in the bay hoping for some dolphins to arrive. They did not succeed as it is very cold this time of year.

 

Next stop was the Swamplife Park where we were all excited about getting to see some kangaroos. Having eaten kangaroo a couple of nights ago this time it was a chance to pet and feed them! It was a great experience …………especially the dancing birds! See the photo section for some great photos soon.

 

We then started our journey back to the City Stay apartments in Perth. It was a long two and a half hour drive back but we were kept occupied by movies. We were given some free time to relax, shop and go out for dinner, in which most of us went to a huge hockey store. By the end of the day we were all exhausted after an early start to a long but enjoyable day.

 

By Aileen Mc Mahon and Tara Lyons

 

 

Day 4 6/8/07

 

We awoke to Irish weather…..Rain!! All eagerly awaiting a training session which was unfortunately (cough cough) cancelled. All 28 girls who had been hosted arrived to our motel, bursting with stories to tell of the hospitality they received from their Australian host families, some of which included treks into fields in search of kangaroos...which was successful!

A morning spent in the local town of Bunbury included lunch and a spot of shopping! With the weather cleared up, we headed to the hockey stadium for light training in preparation for our matches. All three teams, you’ll be delighted to hear, were victorious!!

On the water based pitch, the Senior A’s played a school side, Bunbury Grammar School. Goals from Kate Collins Smith, Sinead McGann and two from Alex Kennedy overcame Bunbury’s one goal from a short corner. Ending the match 4:1.

Meanwhile on the sand based pitch, the Senior B’s also played Bunbury Grammar school.

Goals from Lauren Quinn McDonogh, Shellie Fives and Amy Keller lead them to victory with Grammar getting only one goal in response. The match ended 3:1.

After that the Junior A’s played a club team, Bunbury. Like all of our Crescent sides they did us proud with a clean sheet from Aoife MacNamara in goals and at the other end goals from Aileen McMahon and two from Oral Donworth sealed the game for the junior’s.

In the clubhouse we were treated to Subway, which we all enjoyed (bit of home comfort!). After a meet and greet with the host families we headed off in our separate ways for a well earned good night’s sleep!!

 

Lots of love,

Sinead Mc Gann and Brid Madigan….with the help of spell-check!!!

 

Day 3: 5/08/07

 

Again it was another early start for everyone at 7 although some got up earlier for another go in the Jacuzzi. It was breakfast and straight to loading the bus for a 2 ½ hour journey to Bunbury. We stopped halfway at the “Centre of the Universe”, a small shop with toilets and a talking cockatoo called Paul that would not talk to us. We arrived in Bunbury and it was straight into training working mainly on the short corners. The grass pitch was interesting and it took a bit of getting used to. We had a 2 hour break and it was back to the stadium to get ready for the matches. Senior B and Juniors were up first and were playing at the same time on different pitches. The Juniors put up a good show with a great effort but a South West interprovincial team won 4-0. The Senior Bs proved to be more competitive and were leading most of the first half with a goal from Meghan Harbison. However they were unlucky and were defeated 3-1. The Senior A’s were up next with proved to be a fast tempo match similar to the Munster Cup final. This was thrilling to watch but again we were defeated 2-0. After the games most of the girls got to meet their hosts where they were brought home for steak and roast dinners. All were very happy with their hosts. Eimear McCartney and Aoife Heffernan got to go and catch the first glimpse of a wild Kangaroo. The remaining 16 girls were put up in very elaborate apartments in the Bunbury Motel. The accommodation was much better then the staff’s much to Brenda’s consternation!

 

 

 

Day 2: 3/08/07

 

We got off to an early start this morning at our morning call of 7:45am. We had our first training session today it was on an unusual surface of grass. This was our first time actually playing on grass. We had a nice and light training session as we were all tired and strained after our long flights.

        In the afternoon we went on a cruise of the Swan River which lasted two hours and took us all around the river from Perth to Fremantle. The weather was amazing, sunshine and 21degrees! Unfortunately Erica, Sinead and Caitriona fell off the gangplank they were sitting on, resulting in a sprained ankle, a cut head, and a bruised back!

        We had an interesting evening as we went to one of Australia’s most famous unique restaurants called “The Shed” where we tasted some of Australia’s finest animals such as the Kangaroo, Crocodile and Emu.

          After dinner we took a trip on a bus called the Night Cruiser.  The bus took us to Kings Park and from there we were able to see all of Perth all lit up from the hilltop. It was class! The evening ended with some of us going swimming in the hotel pool and Jacuzzi. Day 2 was both eventful and fun.  

 

                                           Jessica Mckechnie and Aoife Heffernan

 

Diary Day 1.   03/08/2007

 

Shannon to London, to Dubai, to Perth

 

After a long day of travelling already behind us, we all boarded our flight from Dubai to Perth at 2:30 in the morning for a 3 o clock flight. This proved to be a much longer and harder trip than the 6 hour flight we had just come off. At the start it was great fun playing ping pong and watching all the different movies and programmes on the personal t.v’s we had in each of our seats. We also enjoyed calling each other on the phone/remote controls. However, a couple of hours into the flight we all started to feel the effects of two days without sleep!! Some people had no trouble falling asleep and cuddling up to their friends, while others didn’t sleep as much. Luckily, Sean didn’t have his guitar with him! Eventually we got here though and it was sunset at about 5:30 in the evening. Unfortunately, we arrived with 7 people’s luggage and a goalie bag left in Heathrow, but they arrived eventually. Then we got to the hotel and found our rooms with a lounge, kitchen bathroom and 2 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each. After a brief meeting we finally had a long awaited sleep.  

 

                                         Mary O’Connor and Amy Keller.

 

 Tuesday 30th July:

We are just coming to our last training session before we fly out to Perth on Thursday. Its evident that most of the players have being putting the effort in over the past few months with their training schedule.

On Sunday night all involved were giving their team kits and their was a press release and photos taken with a poster of all the main sponsors. Training consisted of basic drills.

On Monday afternoon the girls had a tough training session at the school with their fitness, speed and stamina being tested with the 150m shuttle test. All did extremely well with some scoring eceptionaly high results.

 

Training Times: 

Sunday 29th July: 19:30 - 21:30 CCC

Monday 30th July: 15:00 - 17:00 CCC

Tuesday 31st: 19:30 - 21:30 CCC