DCSIMG

Emily Beatty strike earns Ireland a share of the spoils against Scotland

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  • by John Flack
 

Ireland had to settle for a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s international with Scotland in Glasgow after losing the first game of the series 3-1 on Friday night.

But it could have been worse had Emily Beatty not scored with the last action of the match to give her side the result they certainly deserved after an improved performance.

Ireland were almost totally dominant in the first half but were unable to convert several chances including four penalty corners.

Anna O’Flanagan went closest to breaking the deadlock near the break when her shot sailed just wide of the upright.

The second half was a different affair as, instead, it was the Scots who came out with all guns blazing.

Stella Davis,who had made her debut in goal in Friday’s game, once again was introduced for Ulster’s Ayeisha McFerran at half time.

Davis distinguished herself with several fine stops as the Scots dominated most of the proceedings.

With 10 minutes left, Ireland had a let off as a Sarah Robertson ‘goal’ was ruled out by the umpire as the whistle had gone seconds earlier for dangerous play.

Both sides kept pushing for a goal before the final whistle and Scotland took the lead through a Nikki Kidd drag flick at a penalty corner with three minutes on the clock.

However with the last play of the game, Ireland won a penalty corner of their own after the hosts defence had failed to retreat five yards at a free and Beatty buried a rebound after the initial shot had been saved to rescue a draw.

The results come on the back of Ireland’s silver medal finish at the recent Champions Challenge tournament at the same venue.

But very little should be read into the fact that Smith’s team failed over the course of the weekend to beat the Scots who are ranked lower on the world scale.

Ireland beat Korea and South Africa at the Champions Challenge - two higher ranked teams - but this mini-series represented their first outings and game time since the Glasgow tournament.

Smith deliberately named a ‘big’ squad of 21 for the weekend series as he considers his options ahead of the World League series which begins later this year and represents the start of the Olympic qualification process for Rio 2016.

Scotland, in contrast, have a shorter term goal, namely the fact they are deep into their preparations for the Commonwealth Games which they are hosting next month.

 

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