Day 1 Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I
Hockey: Day 1 Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge
Saturday 29th September
Match 1: India 3-0 Wales (HT 2-0)
Ritu Rani op 18th; Lily Chanu Mayengbam pc 28th; Soundarya Yendala pc 70th
Day one of the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge started today in UCD when India took on Wales in the opening game. Both sides opened tentatively but it was India who took the initiative in the 18th minute when Captain Ritu Rani converted from open play. Ten minutes later India made it 2-0 thanks to Lily Chanu converting her penalty corner. India sealed the deal in the 70th minute when Soundarya Yendla secured her sides second penalty corner to finish off the match with a 3-0 win.
Match 2: Australia 4-1 Belgium (HT 2-0)
Australia: Jodie Schultz 19th ps; Casey Eastham 25th; Anna Flanagan; Madonna Blyth 67thm
Belgium: Stephanie De Groof 54th;
The Hockeryroos put four past Belgium today in their first pool game of today's Electric Ireland CC at UCD. Both sides played in the Olympics but did not cross paths during London but the Hockeyroos finished with an impressive 5th placing. Australia scored two before the break and doubled this to four before the full time whistle blew. The Belgian side scored just one solo goal thanks to Stephanie De Groof to make it 4-1.
Match 3: Ireland 1-0 South Africa (HT 0-0)
Ireland: Chloe Watkins op 52m
Ireland got off to a great start today in their Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge beating world number 10's South Africa 1-0 in their opening game. The match opened with three presentations Lesle-Ann George received her 175th Cap; Miriam Crowley her 50th and Michelle Harvey her 100th.
The game took off in a lively manner with South Africa defending an Irish short corner in the 7th minute but Michelle Harvey's drag resulted in a free out. South Africa had a chance in the 15th thanks to a reverse effort by Mayne but a long reach by Gray kept the attempt at bay. South Africa secured their first set piece on the quarter mark but Coston's effort went wide and Ireland were off the hook. South Africa found themselves down to ten men and Ireland took the opportunity to up the pressure O'Flanagan just missing a crash ball. Ireland had a good chance as Mullan secured a penalty corner on the hooter but Ireland could not convert and the half time closed out 0-0.
South Africa opened the second half immediately on the attack winning a penalty corner in the 42nd minute but a solid looking Irish defence held strong. Ireland took advantage when South Africa were once again reduced to 10 when Damons was shown yellow for a tackle on Smyth and Watkins put in a deft touch and turn to fire home a reverse shot from the top of the circle to make it 1-0 to Ireland in the 52nd minute. Ireland came under pressure on a few occasions with Gray in goals coming into action to deny some good South African attempts on goal. Ireland almost had a chance to make it two after Connery bounced her way through but couldn't get the shot away and the match closed out 1-0 to Ireland.
Commenting after the game Coach Denis Pritchard said "This was a very encouraging start to our Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge. A young team showed a maturity in a high tension final quarter. We created a few good chances against a world top 10 side and we will look at the video tonight as a group and prioritise areas of improvement."
The action continues once again tomorrow at 10.30am Belgium v Wales; 13.00 Indian v Australia; 15.30 Ireland v Scotland; 18.00 USA v South Africa.
For more details www.hockey.ie
Starting XI: Emma Gray; Michelle Harvey; Emma Smyth; Alex Speers; Sinead McCarthy; Nikki Symmons; Audrey O'Flynn; Chloe Watkins; Niamh Atcheler; Kathyrn Mullan; Anna O'Flanagan Reserves: Pamela Smithwick GK:Miriam Crowley; Lisa Jacob; Niamh Small; Aine Connery; Brenda Flannery; Nicola Gray.
Match 4: USA 0-1 Scotland
Last match 5.30 live updates will be tweeted @irishhockey and final scores / pools on www.hockey.ie
For more information go here http://www.hockey.ie/contentPage/157449/champions_challenge_i
For tables and schedule go here http://www.fih.ch/en/competitions-166-electric-ireland-hockey-champions-challenge