Senior Women's Four Nations:
Ireland 0 Australia 4
Ireland’s ladies were unable to snag a bout of revenge over Australia as they fell 4-0 in balmy Essen as the hockeyroos struck twice in each half to top the group after day one.
The tie ended in a similar scoreline to the 4-1 setback in Chile six weeks ago but, nonetheless, coach Gene Muller was pleased with the performance, saying: “It was a more open match than in Chile and we performed much better technically. We created good scoring chances but we were sloppy with crucial turnovers which cost us in both circles.”
Nikki Evans made her international debut on the night while Eimear Cregan (pictured, left) moved level with Rachael Kohler on 166 caps and looks set to break the national caps record against Germany on the second day of this competition.
Mary Goode was called on to make a fine early stop but Ireland’s defence settled in reasonably well as Bridget Cleland and Cliodhna Sargent performed well at the back.
But, after an Irish corner chance was blown up, the Aussies produced an excellent pitch-length break to open the scoring in the 25th minute and they doubled the advantage four minutes later.
Niamh Small and Cregan both went close before the break but it was the Australians who struck again just after the break when they dragged home a high drag-flick to make it 3-0 from the third of a series of three corners.
Emma Smyth did lay on an excellent one-on-one chance for Evans for a debut goal but found her angle closed down and the Australians completed the win in the closing stages, netting from another corner.
In the day’s other game, Germany were shocked by India who pulled back a 3-1 deficit to draw 3-3. Two goals from Lydia Haase and one from Natascha Keller (right) – on her 350th cap – had Germany in full control but the emerging Indians stormed back to take a point.
Ireland: Mary Goode, Emma Clarke, Bridget Cleland, Lizzie Colvin, Eimear Cregan, Nicci Daly, Nicola Evans, Michelle Harvey, Shirley McCay, Audrey O'Flynn, Julia O'Halloran, Cliodhna Sargent, Niamh Small, Emma Smyth, Alex Speers, Nikki Symmons
Not used: Lisa Jacob, Emma Gray
Women's Four Nations (Essen, Germany) results:Ireland 0 Australia 4; Germany 3 India 3
Standings (points/goal difference):
1.Australia 3pts (+4) 2. Germany 1pt (0) 3. India 1pts (0) 4.Ireland 0pts (-4)
Today's Fixtures (all Irish time):
Australia vs India, 2pm; Ireland vs Germany, 4pm
Ireland vs India, 11am; Germany vs Australia 1pm
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