No time to feel nervous
Emily Beatty was on holidays in West Cork when she received a heads-up that Megan Frazer had been injured in the semi-final win over Spain on the Saturday.
Beatty, who had played in several World Cup warm-up matches, rearranged her flight to London for that night from Sunday, the day of the final; with no official summons she nevertheless packed all her hockey gear, along with the face paint for her presumed role as a supporter.
At 11.30am – the World Cup final started at 4.30pm – she received a call from Ireland coach Graham Shaw asking her make her way across London to the team hotel. Beatty jumped in a cab, told the driver her predicament and he expedited the journey.
She recalled: “When we got to the team hotel we posed for a photo and he said he’d put it up on the London cabbie website. Graham greeted me and said we’ve a team meeting in 15 minutes and to hang out with the other girls for a while until it started.
“I was so ecstatic. There was no time to feel nervous, no time to think. It was like taxi, hotel, team meeting, team meal, bus, stadium, World Cup final. I was thinking it’s absolutely crazy. But I’d played in the warm-up games against Japan and Italy and Chile so I felt prepared. I just sent my family a text message that I am going to play in the World Cup final and I’m putting away my phone so let everybody know.”
There was no fairytale finish to the story with Ireland losing the final 6-0 to the Netherlands but for Beatty taking part in the final was a suitable personal reward.