Ayeisha's 'pivotal' role in Ireland hockey squad success

Former Larne Grammar School pupil Ayeisha McFerran.
Former Larne Grammar School pupil Ayeisha McFerran.

A Larne school has paid tribute to the "pivotal" role played by a former pupil in the Irish women's hockey squad.

The team reached Sunday's World Cup final in London, ending up silver medalists after losing the match 6-0 to a stronger Netherlands side.

Larne's Ayeisha McFerran was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament after her heroics in shootout wins over India and Spain.

The 22-year-old is a former student of Larne Grammar, and played hockey for the school from Year 8.

A post from the LGS Twitter page on Sunday read: "Not the result we hoped for today but that doesn't take away from the incredible achievement of getting to the final. @Ayeeishaa winning Goalkeeper of the Tournament shows how pivotal a role she played! So proud of you Ayeisha!"

The Larne woman has a wealth of experience on an international stage, winning her first cap during a tour in Spain.

She also played field hockey for the University of Louisville, Kentucky, who said: "We are so proud of our Ayeisha McFerran - named Best Goalkeeper of the World Cup!"

Commending Ayeisha and the Ireland squad on their success was Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Lindsay Millar. "All the blood, sweat and tears have paid off and their silver was well deserved," she said.

"The people of Larne will no doubt be beaming with pride as their very own Ayeisha takes home her medal and title as goalkeeper of the tournament. These women are not only putting hockey on the map, but are role models for many women and girls in sport.”

Meanwhile, Ayeisha's family could not be more proud of her sporting achievements. "Not sure there are words strong enough to describe the pride for my sister; all of her dreams have just come true," Tamara McFerran wrote on Facebook. "Special thank you to the team and their families who have supported Ayeisha over the years!"

Ayeisha's aunt, Alison McFerran added: "Very proud of our niece getting goal keeper of the world cup and to the whole team in their fantastic achievement getting so far in the hockey world cup."

Read more: Your messages of congratulations for Larne's hockey hero Ayeisha McFerran