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Strong first half gives Australia win over Ireland
25 Oct 2007 07:26

A rather young and inexperienced Irish team lost the firsr of a four match test series against Australia 3-0 at the the National Hockey Stadium UCD, Dublin. The Hockeyroos scored all the goals in the first half.

The world number four’s started off on a high tempo, immediately applying pressure on the Irish defence. A young backline which included Stephaine Quinn and Christine Quinlan did well to handle the Australian onslaught which called upon Mary Goode’s expertise in goals to keep a clean sheet in the opening minutes of the match.

Nine minutes in to the game Australia were rewarded for their swift attacking play when Shelly Liddleworth pounced in the cirle to slot the opener into the Irish net. Only three minutes later Goode was faced against Australia’s Rebecca Sanders who stepped up to take a penalty stroke to double the Australian’s lead.

Despite the Australian’s dominence the Irish girls managed to find some good play of their own and an excellent ball from Quinn to UCD’s Roisin Flinn provided Ireland’s first real chance although the ball was broken down in the circle. The attack from Ireland lifted the game and minutes later and excellent ball from Symmons to McKean in the Australian twenty five provided a real chance to open the Irish scoreline but the pass across the circle just couldnt be controlled and the chance was lost.

Four minutes from half time Shelly Liddleworth took advantage of some swift play through the midfield to slot another past Ireland just before half time. Half time Australia 3 – 0 Ireland.

The second half of the match maintained the speed and pace of that of the first, the Irish girls kept pace and marshalled the defence in a controlled manner keeping the Australian attack at bay. Despite the Australian’s dominating the second half they were unable to convert their chances into goals; both Irish keepers were used in the final thirty five but good performances from both Goode and Fry kept a clean sheet for Ireland in the second half.

Speaking after the match was Coach Gene Muller “This was a really big occassion for the young  Irish players, for many this was their first time to playing against an international team, let alone a team like Australia.”

“Australia were perhaps better than the three nil suggested but at the same time I was pleasently suprised at the level of performance we displayed. Even though I am happy with the  individual performances we will need to improve over the following three matches to be really competitive.”

Source: Irish Hockey Association


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