The tournament started off with three ice hockey teams - the Northern Conference, Central Conference, and Southern Conference - competing against each other at Dundonald Ice Bowl. Niamh Reilly #16 and Rachel Shawe #90 represented the Southern Conference, while Laura Dunne #66 and Diane Best #9 joined the Northern Conference. Each team consisted of a mix of experienced ice and inline players from across Ireland and overseas.
The results of the ice hockey matches were as follows: Northern vs Central (0-5), Central vs Southern (0-0), and Southern vs Northern (1-7). The Northern Conference secured first place on ice, followed by the Southern Conference in second place.
On the following day, the three ice hockey teams split into six inline teams and competed at The Rink in Portadown. The teams included Southern Sirens (which included Niamh Reilly #16 and Rachel Shawe #90), Southern Sonics, Northern Ninjas (which included Laura Dunne #66 and Diane Best #9), Northern Nitros, Central Chargers and Central Chaos. The Southern Sirens and Northern Ninjas both made it to the semi-finals, with the Northern Ninjas ultimately winning in the final on penalty shots.
It was an exciting experience to witness all of our players reaching the semi-finals, with Niamh and Rachel receiving silver and Laura and Diane being awarded gold.
In the inline hockey category, Reilly #16 ranked no. 5 with 3 goals and 3 points, Shawe #90 ranked no. 13 with 1 goal and 3 points, and Dunne #66 ranked no. 16 with 1 goal and 1 point. The tournament was a great success, and we are proud of our players' accomplishments.
From our players;
"On day 1, we started on the ice, with our team training on inline, it was quite an experience. At first we were very apprehensive as the rules are different, and well, ... who needs rules anyway! It was an amazing experience, where everyone played brilliantly, we put our hearts and souls into those games, and I am so proud of how well my teammates played! Rachel, Laura and Diane all played exceptionally! They are a force to be reckoned with.
On day 2, it was inline, we had so much more confidence, where we shed blood, sweat and tears, and many celebrations. We all worked as a single unit, a real team was born.
I personally want to thank everyone who participated, especially the players who showed up, they were the reason it was such a memorable weekend, they welcomed us with open arms, they supported, and encouraged us to do our best, which meant so much to us all. It was such a loving environment, where everyone there was purely there for the love of the sport, and what a sport it is. I couldn't be more grateful to be part of such a caring, and encouraging community!"
"I started learning roller skating in November 2021, without any prior experience. In January 2022, I started training in inline hockey. The Smash tournament was my first-ever women's ice and inline hockey competition, and it was an unforgettable experience. Despite the short amount of time, I am proud of the progress I have made and grateful to have played alongside my teammates, Niamh Reilly, Diane Best, and Laura Dunne."