A Hockey World Cup Quarter Final Beckons

As a sporting nation with the population we have and the resources available to the various national governing bodies, any decent performance on the world stage needs to be celebrated.

Great to see Ireland's women's hockey team on the cusp of a last eight place at the World Cup in London.

But they don't want to just settle for that.

The squad have a first World Cup appearance since 2002 and it's been a long-time coming.

Five of this side lost an Olympic qualifying final in 2012, 13 of this panel were within the width of a post of going to Rio.

India now stand in the way of last 8 qualification with a game to go in the first phase of the tournament.

A tiny nation such as ours up against a major subcontinent?

I'll take those odds!

The cailini beat world number 10 ranked India 2-1 last summer in the World League semi-finals.

The likes of Nikki Evans, Anna O’Flanagan, Nicci Daly and Chloe Watkins – among others – have put work on hold for the past nine months to play full-time as much as possible.

It is also a team of high achievers in many realms. Katie Mullan is an All-Ireland intermediate club winner with Coleraine’s Eoghan Rua. Deirdre Duke played underage soccer for Ireland; Nicci Daly played with the Dublin ladies footballers while Lena Tice, at just 20, has over 50 caps in both cricket and hockey.

Some of Ireland's trophy winners have been lending their support to the ladies.

I've heard some people labelling it as bandwagonjumping but if they DIDN'T lend their support they would also be criticised - sometimes you just cant win.

But lets take the good wishes at face value. Go girls!