Senior Women’s Four Nations
Ireland 1 (Emma Smyth) Germany 3 (Lina Geyer, Tina Bachmann 2) Gene Muller was once again pleased with how his Irish side performed against one of the world’s top nations as the girls in green created more chances than previous encounters against Germany, in a 3-1 defeat in Essen this afternoon.
Michelle Harvey’s long ball inside 30 seconds created a great chance which Alex Speers turned Julia O’Halloran’s way but, on her 50th cap, she miscued her finish when one-on-one with Kristina Reynolds.
The Germans captialised on this let-off within a minute when an Lena Andersch overhead found Natascha Keller on the backline, behind Cliodhna Sargent and her push across goal found the waiting Lina Geyer to break the deadlock.
Germany did hold the edge in terms of goal opportunities in the early phases but Ireland’s midfield, particularly Emma Clarke fronted up well and they got back on terms in the 16th minute.
Speers earned a penalty corner which Emma Smyth got a touch to guide home from a low drag-flick to make it 1-1.
But Germany retook the lead when Tina Bachmann dragged home the first of her two corner goals before the break – she was to end with a strike rate of two goals from her side’s eight corners on the day.
She notched her second in the 50th minute as Germany upped their game in the second period and while they pinned Ireland back, the Irish defended well to keep their sheet clean for the remainder of the game with Mary Goode taking the player of the match award.
They did so in spite of Smyth’s sin-binning with five minutes to go and also skimmed the post. Speaking after the game, Gene Muller said "We performed well today and progressed since yesterday we are creating more chances in this series than in the past against these teams and our players are playing with confidence and real commitment."
Eimear Cregan earned her 167th cap on the day to pass Rachael Kohler's Irish record and Ireland play India tomorrow for the wooden spoon after Australia had too much in the tank for the Asian side, winning 6-2.
Ireland: Mary Goode, Emma Clarke, Bridget Cleland, Lizzie Colvin, Eimear Cregan, Nicci Daly, Michelle Harvey, Lisa Jacob, Shirley McCay, Audrey O'Flynn, Julia O'Halloran, Cliodhna Sargent, Niamh Small, Emma Smyth, Alex Speers, Nikki Symmons, Not Used: Emma Gray, Nikki Evans
Senior Women’s Four Nations (Saturday results): Ireland 1 (Emma Smyth) Germany 3 (Lina Geyer, Tina Bachmann 2); Australia 6 India 2
Standings: 1. Australia 6pts (+8) 2. Germany 4pts (+2) 3. India 1pt (-4) 4. Ireland 0pts (-6)