Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ireland end Champs' Challenge in bronze

In Kazan, Ireland battled through 30 degree heat to claim a bronze medal at the inaugural Champion's Challenge II event by beating Ukraine 2-1.

Roisin Flinn scored both the goals, benefiting from renewing a partnership with Eimear Cregan after the latter missed the earlier stages in the tournament due to an ankle injury.

Cregan (pictured) played in Flinn for the only goal of the first half in the 11th minute as Ireland were reasonably in control. They were pegged back, though, against the run of play in the 45th minute when Maryna Vynohradova gave Mary Goode no chance, deflecting in her second goal of the tournament against Ireland.

Ireland pushed on for the winning goal and it came in the 64th minute from a penalty corner with Flinn getting the vital touch.

Overall, Gene Muller was pleased with the week's work which saw Ireland win three, draw one and lose one of their games: “We played very well throughout and deserved victory. I am very happy with the way we played over the course of the competition and overall this was a very beneficial tournament for our preparations for the European Championships in August.”

Nikki Symmons was awarded the tournament's 'Most Useful Player' prize while India won the tournament with a 6-3 win over Belgium - netting 26 times in their five games in the competition.

Ireland (vs Ukraine): Mary Goode, Roisin Flinn, Eimear Cregan, Emma Clarke, Emma Stewart, Bridget Cleland (capt), Shirley McCay, Cathy McKean, Nikki Symmons, Lizzie Colvin, Michelle Harvey
Subs: Alex Speers, Emma Smyth, Lisa Jacob, Niamh Small, Lauren Barr

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