Railway sports update

Pictured Above: Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon.

Pictured Above:
Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon.

Railway Union Duo bid farewell from International Hockey after distinguished careers.

In the space of a few days – following their exit from World League 3, played in Valencia Spain in June, where the Ireland Women’s Hockey team came so agonisingly close to Olympic qualification for Rio in 2016 – both Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon from Railway Union announced their retirement from International Hockey.

Both Emma and Kate played together at school in Loreto Dalkey and at Railway Union since joining as juniors.

Kate retires from International hockey after amassing 55 caps for Ireland. She describes her time in the green jersey as “an absolute pleasure and an honour to play with every member of the team over the last two years.”

Kate isn’t stepping away from hockey entirely and will continue to play club hockey for Railway Union while balancing her career as owner of the Wooden Spoon Café in Blackrock. “I want to thank my parents and brother Steve for always supporting and encouraging me and looking after The Wooden Spoon so well when I have been away.”

Kate concluded, “The experience of playing in an Irish jersey will stay with me for the rest of my life. Representing my country has been an absolute honour and privilege, and I am so proud to have been part of such a talented team.”

Emma also decided to call time on her international career after six years at the heart of the Green Army midfield. She made her debut against England in 2009 and went on to amass 141 caps in which the midfielder became known for her mazy runs and was a driving force in Ireland’s recent upsurge in form.

Emma also acknowledged all the people off-the-pitch who played a role in her success. “Thank you so much to my family, friends and work colleagues who have supported me through the years. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of it without you.”

Emma said that one of her fondest memories was when she received her 100th cap in the Champions Challenge in Glasgow 2014, where Ireland played South Africa and beat them 2–1 to get to the final.

Like her colleague Kate, Emma, who is a Respiratory Scientist attached to St. Vincent’s and St. Michael’s Hospitals, will now return to playing with Railway Union on a full-time basis, and both will play an integral part in assisting the Club in the first season of the newly formed Irish Hockey League, which is sponsored by Ernst and Young.

The EY Irish Hockey League will see 20 of Ireland’s top male and female clubs battle it out to become league champions over 19 weeks of exciting, fast-paced hockey. The Railway Union Men’s team has also qualified for the EY Irish Hockey League, so a great season of hockey is in prospect at Park Avenue. The Club welcomes all sports fans from Dublin 4 to come along and enjoy the matches during the winter months.

The International link with Railway Union has not been completely broken as Kate Lloyd was selected for the Irish squad that recently took part in the European Championships in Prague. Everyone at Railway Union hopes that Kate will go on and have a successful and fulfilling International career like her Club colleagues.

Pictured Above: Railway hockey under-16s Nina Heisterkamp, Grace McLaughlin, Niamh and Michelle Carey.

Pictured Above: Railway hockey under-16s Nina Heisterkamp, Grace McLaughlin, Niamh and Michelle Carey.

Four Railway players were part of the Irish under-16 girls’ hockey team that took part in the six nations tournament recently in Bremen, Germany. They are Niamh and Michelle Carey, Grace McLaughlin and Nina Heisterkamp.

Stacey Flood and Emma Murphy, both home-grown Railway Rugby athletes, have been competing for the Irish womens 7s rugby team as they continue their quest like their hockey counterparts for qualification for the Rio Olympics next summer.

The winter sports (hockey, soccer and rugby) seasons are beginning soon. If you would like to play youths for Railway, please contact the following for all details on training times etc:

Soccer – Mary deCourcy: mary.decourcyomeara@gmail.com
Girls’ Rugby – Ali Nolan: girlsrugby@railwayunionrfc.com
Girls’ Hockey – Margaret Shaw: mshaw086@gmail.com
Boys’ Hockey – Kenny Carroll: kencarroll20@hotmail / Phone 087 2757486

Kenny Carroll said, “It is an exciting time for both boys’ and men’s hockey in Ireland as after the Irish men’s team’s 5th place finish at the recent World League tournament in Antwerp, depending on results in upcoming Continental Championships it looks likely that the Irish men’s hockey team will qualify for the Rio Olympics.

If this happens, it will be the first time an Irish team has qualified for the Olympics in any team sport since 1948.”

Undoubtedly, this will raise the profile of hockey in Ireland and increase the opportunities for young Irish athletes to represent their country at the highest possible level, which is the pinnacle of world sport in the Olympics.

If you are interested in giving hockey a go, which is a fast moving, skillful and late specialisation sport, please contact Kenny Carroll, who co-ordinates boys hockey at Railway Union.

Boys’ training takes place at Railway Union on the astro-turf pitch in Sandymount on Saturday evenings 6pm for under-8s, 10s and 12s, and Sunday evenings 4pm for under-14s and 16s from September to April.

Come down and give it a go. All that is required is a gum shield, as sticks are provided for those starting off. Everyone is welcome!

Pictured Above: Railway Cricket: Alex Styles Leinster Cricket Under-13.

Pictured Above: Railway Cricket: Alex Styles Leinster Cricket Under-13.

On the cricket field, numerous young Railway cricket players have represented Leinster at youth level, including Andy Jackson, Eoin Barron, Alex Stiles and Philippe le Roux, from under-17 level down.

Pictured Above: Railway Cricket: Eoin Barron Leinster Cricket Under-15.

Pictured Above: Railway Cricket: Eoin Barron Leinster Cricket Under-15.

Aidan Duffy and Callum O’Reilly have been part of the Dublin City under-12 district team along with Luke McDonagh and Hugh O’Kennedy who both play cricket for YMCA.

Also Patrick Guest (Pembroke CC) and Jamie Forbes (YMCA CC) have also played for Leinster at youth level this summer in cricket.