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Ireland put in impressive display against Dutch U21’s
17 Jan 2008 08:15

The women’s national team of Ireland drew 2-2 against Netherlands Under 21 in a test match played in South Africa. Ireland stepped onto the pitch for their fourth match in five days in South Africa. The team captained by Jenny McDonagh saw a number of the more experience Irish players rested including McKean, Cregan, McCay, McKeever and Healy.

Ireland were the first of the mark today going ahead half way through the first half when midfielder Clarke made a superb pass to O’Halloran who fired the ball home from the top right of the circle into the left of the goal leaving the keeper with no chance. Both sides had one corner each in the first half but with both keepers on form the set pieces came to no avail.

So for the first time on this tour Ireland found themselves in the lead at half time.

The lead was short lived and in the fifth minute of the second half the Dutch equalized through and expertly taking drag flick. The Dutch then looked certain to double their score line when six minutes later they were awarded a penalty stroke much to the surprise of the Irish, but the stroke was put wide and so the scores remained level.

Ireland thought they had gone into the lead again in the seventeenth minute when Symmons fed the ball into the circle to pick out Flynn who put the ball away but the feeder ball was deemed too high and the resulting goal was disallowed. With ten minutes to go there was plenty of action on the pitch, the Dutch were reduced to ten men when a yellow card came their way but despite being a player down a turnover in the Irish defense was picked up by the Dutch who made no mistake in converting their gifted opportunity into a goal to take a two one lead.

Ireland looked sure to get the equalizer when they were awarded three consecutive corners but they failed to convert any of the set pieces, but with only two minutes left on the clock, Clarke played a superb ball up the right to find O’Halloran once again who fed it across the circle and Jacob made no mistake in a superb deflection to give the Irish a well deserved draw.

Ireland have two matches remaining, they take on South Africa both on Friday and Saturday.

Source: Irish Hockey Association


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