MORNINGTON Peninsula Hockey Club goalkeeper, Julia Ashmore, represented Australia for the first time in the over-45s Masters World Cup in Terrassa, Spain from Saturday 28 July to Sunday 5 August.
Ashmore entered the Australian side with little expectations for the World Cup but returned home just one spot shy of earning a bronze medal.
Ashmore helped the national side match it with the world’s best in the scorching conditions, and after claiming four of their five matches in the group stage, Australia made their way through to the semi-finals.
In the semi-final, Australia faced the in-form English side, which had won all five of their matches in the group stage, and were defeated 3-1.
Australia went on to face Russia in the third-versus-fourth final, and while the scores couldn’t be split during regular time (1-1), Russia eventually claimed the bronze medal to win by one goal in a shootout.
Ashmore said it was a little disappointing to not come home with a medal, but as always it was an honour to represent her country.
“We had plenty of opportunities to snatch the win, but in saying that we were up against the world’s best and we did the best that we could,” Ashmore said.
“We were a bit gutted, but overall the Australian contingent did extremely well and the experience was absolutely unbelievable.
“We had a great team and a great group of women, and we all gelled well.”
Ashmore wore her required goalie gear throughout the World Cup in conditions which reached upwards of 40 degrees during the day.
“It was a little bit unbearable at times but there was only one game that the heat got to me and that was against the Netherlands (4-0 loss),” she said.
“It was extremely hot but a fantastic experience with a few interesting events.”
Prior to the World Cup, Australia played in a couple of practise matches, with one being against the over-35s English squad.
“On the way to the practise game the bus broke down which wasn’t too great,” Ashmore said.
“Then once we got going again there was a fire on the side of the freeway which caused more delays for about an hour and a half.
“Then coming back, the bus broke down again so we had to get another bus to take us back, It was just a comedy of errors in the one day.
“We got there in the end and they were very tough. It was a good game and we were beaten only by about one goal.”
Ashmore is set to travel again to Bunbury, Perth on Friday 28 September for the over-40s National Championships.
Fellow Mornington Peninsula Hockey Club players Emma Brown and Kim Trezise will be representing Victoria in the women’s over-35s. Rebecca Gipp will also be representing the women’s over-50s and Margaret Nettleship will be representing the women’s over-65s.
In the Men’s division, Todd Lisson and Greg Burch will represent Victoria in the over-45s and over-55s, respectively.