Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scots complete clean sweep over Irish women

Senior Women's international challenge match
Scotland 3 (Kareena Marshall, Susan Hamilton, Aimee Clark) Ireland 1 (Alex Speers)
Scotland completed a clean sweep from their three match series with Ireland this afternoon in Forthbank, finding it a smoother transition to bed in their three new squad additions than Ireland’s sixth.

Old Alex goalkeeper Pamela Smithwick was the latest new Irish cap, lining out for the first time at senior level after five others had made debuts this weekend.

Scotland took the lead in the 25th minute when Kareena Marshall completed a switch-left routine. Claire Scott had two efforts foiled by the Irish defence soon after but Shirley McCay went closest when she was denied a leveller, smacking a post, also from a corner.

But Scotland killed off the tie early in the second period when Aimee Clark swept to Susan Hamilton to score from their second corner and, in the 48th minute, Ali Bell planted a low shot into the right corner to make it 3-0.

Late on, Ireland did force four corners – Nikki Evans to the fore – and she was involved in the consolation goal after Emma Clarke strode forward into the circle. Evans goalbound shot took a nick off Alex Speers for her fifth international strike.

Speaking afterwards, Gene Muller reflected on a worthwhile weekend to test out possible additions to the senior panel in the future, using ten players with less than ten caps to their name.

“We made too many errors today and did not create enough momentum. It was a scrappy match which demanded a tougher mentality than we showed and this is the main lesson for us.

“These three matches have been very useful for an opportunity to give players a chance at this level.”

Ireland will play a three match series against Belgium at the National Hockey Stadium from August 6 to 8.

Ireland: Pamela Smithwick, Audrey O’Flynn, Michelle Harvey, Cliodhna Sargent, Sinead McCarthy, Lizzie Colvin, Emma Clarke, Shirley McCay, Alex Speers, Nikki Evans, Nicci Daly
Subs: Chloe Watkins, Niamh Atcheler, Anna O Flanagan, Stephanie Quinn, Jean McDonnell
Not Used: Emma Gray, Miriam Crowley

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