Scotland women make significant step up but clinical Ireland win in Belfast

In the second of a two-match series in Belfast, Scotland women lost 4-1 to Ireland as the Scots prepare for next month’s EuroHockey Championships after a long lay-off.

Fiona Semple found the back of the net for Scotland against eighth in the world Ireland, who are deep in preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The next time the sides meet will be in Amsterdam at the EuroHockey Championships next month.

Scotland looked more improved right from the beginning, however were punished for mistakes in the opening quarter when Ireland took the lead through a penalty corner strike by Nicola Evans.

The home side was clinical again in the second quarter when Zara Malseed and Sarah Hawkshaw both struck as Ireland secured a 3-0 lead.

Scotland struck back before half time and it was Fiona Semple who found the net for the Tartan Hearts. A well-worked short corner routine saw Semple show a lovely touch and finish to make it 3-1 at the break.

Anna O’Flanagan scored a fourth for Ireland in the third quarter to make it 4-1, but it was Scotland asking the major questions.

The final quarter had Scotland as the more dominant side but the quarter ended goalless for a full time result of 4-1 to Ireland in Belfast.

Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “Today was a significant step up on yesterday’s performance and we showed that we’re able to compete, and really take the game to an opposition of this calibre at times. They punished us because they’re a quality team, but we had more control and more chances today, and limited Ireland’s chances much better than yesterday.

“There’s still more to come from this group. We made a big jump in 24 hours and there’s still many layers and steps for us to take – I’m excited for what’s to come. We have a lot of youth in the squad and these games offer them really good experience, and they were able to think fast and learn fast, which is pleasing.”

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