China defeats Ireland in New Zealand
26 Feb 2008 10:37
The Chinese women’s team defeated Ireland 4-0 in a test match played in Wellington, New Zealand. Ireland is preparing for the WorldHockey Olympic Qualifier in Victoria, Canada later this year.
Ireland was captained on the day by Bridget McKeever who was winning her 100th cap for Ireland. China, 5th in the world rankings, started strongly but Ireland were alert and in the 5th minute Mary Goode made an excellent save from a drag flick penalty corner, their first of four corners in the half.
China dominated with Goode making some excellent saves and O’Brien showing great composure in defence and Clarke outstanding in midfield. Eventually the pressure paid off with the only goal of the half scored in the 25minute from play after Goode had made the initial save but the defence failed to clear.
In the second half Ireland conceded two quick goals from play in a five minute spell between the 43 and 48 minutes. Ireland forced some chances of their own through good work by McDonough, O’Halloran and Flinn but as the game went on China finished the stronger and scored on the counter attack in the 62nd minute. Ireland only conceded one penalty corner in the second half which was well defended by first runner McDonough.
Afterwards Coach Muller commented “ It was a very difficult match for us seeing as we had only landed twenty four hours earlier due to delay in our flight from London - we were physically better that we have been in previous matches this year and this is very good news. We wanted this level of opponent and am very satisfied with our progress”
Source: Irish Hockey Association