Spain 7 (Jimenez, Bonastre x2, B Garcia x2, Riera, M Garcia)
Spain very nearly opened the scoring inside the first 90 seconds when a goal mouth scramble from their first penalty corner saw the ball go in but the umpire disallowed it much to Ireland’s relief. But in the third minute Lucia Jimenez swept home from close range to give the hosts the lead. Katie Mullan and Kate Lloyd linked up nicely down the right side and into the circle to earn the Green Army a corner of their own but the defence were out quick to smother Roisin Upton’s shot and send it wide. Grace O’Flanagan was called upon at the other end as the Spanish earned another PC but she made a smart low save. The lead was doubled by Berta Bonastre in the 10th minute as she slotted home from close range following a darting run along the baseline into the circle. O’Flanagan was again forced into another reflex save as Bonastre’s close range shot bounced high and looked destined for the net before O’Flanagan flicked it away with her stick. Chloe Brown won Ireland’s second short corner as she spun the ball into her marker but again the Spanish were out to deal with the danger. Brown very nearly got the Irish on the score board on the cusp of half time following a first time pass from Lloyd but the close range shot was well saved.
The Green Army came out stronger in the second half, commanding more of the possession with Deidre Duke and Lloyd gliding into the circle to draw the save from Melanie Garcia. Berta Bonastre got her second goal courtesy of a stroke high into the right corner following a shot stopped on the line by an Irish body. Shirley McCay and Lena Tice were directing passes through the heart of the Spanish mid field but the Spanish defence, fresh off 3 impressive draws against world number 5 Australia, were alert to the danger. Naomi Carroll continued with the Irish effort on her 100th cap and Zoe Wilson was dispossessed by 3 defenders moments before she could release her shot. But the Spanish put the game to rest with 4 goals in the final quarter with Begona Garcia scoring twice on her reverse, Lola Riera with a powerful PC drag flick and a well worked field goal from Maialen Garcia in the final minute.
Congratulations to Naomi Carroll on earning her 100th cap!
The second game of the series takes place on Thursday at 12pm (Irish time).
Starting: G O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, L Tice, S McCay, L Colvin, R Upton, G Pinder, K Mullan, N Carroll, N Evans, K Lloyd
Subs: C Cassin, H Matthews, Y O’Byrne, A Meeke, E Beatty, C Brown, D Duke