Needing a draw to win back the Celtic Cup, Ireland just missed out on the prize as they fell 2-1 to Scotland in Nice yesterday; a month before the sides meet again in the World Cup Qualifiers.
The Scots took the early initiative, controlling much of the first half and scored the only goal of the half from a penalty corner goal in the 15th minute - Emily Maguire switching the ball on to Ali Bell to score at the back post.
Predictably the Irish came out fighting after the interval and were rewarded with the equaliser when Lisa Jacob (pictured, centre) brilliantly deflected Emma Smyth’s cross past Abi Walker in the Scotland goal.
Ireland pressed Scotland but stuggled to get their passing game going and it was Scotland who forced more penalty corners. And with eight minutes left, Sam Judge grabbed the winner for Scotland.
Michelle Harvey’s drag flick was well saved and in the dying seconds while Jacob was also denied, leaving Scotland to take home their fourth successive Celtic Cup.
Speaking afterwards, Irish Coach Gene Muller said: “Our matches against Scotland are always very difficult and this was no different. We have them again at the World Cup Qualifier and will look to overturn this loss.”
Eimear Cregan sat out the tie after picking up an injury on Friday against the French.
Ireland: Mary Goode (Bray); Niamh Small (Loreto); Roisin Flinn (Old Alex); Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins); Emma Clarke (Leicester); Emma Stewart (Armagh); Bridget Cleland (Ballymoney); Shirley McCay (Dragons); Audrey O'Flynn (UCC); Alex Speers (Dragons); Rachel Mulligan (Armagh); Nikki Symmons (Loreto); Emma Smyth (Railway Union); Lizzie Colvin (Loreto); Lisa Jacob (UCD); Michelle Harvey (Pegasus) Did not play: Louisa Healy (Loreto); Eimear Cregan (Catholic Institute).