HOCKEY: Ireland girls make it a winning start in Italy

Nikki Evans (right) who scored for Ireland in the win over UCD
Nikki Evans (right) who scored for Ireland in the win over UCD


Ireland’s National Women’s team wom the first match of a three nations tournament taking place this weekend in Mori, Italy securing a convincing 3-1 win in their opening match over the hosts on Thursday night

The Irish opened the scoring thanks to striker Nikki Evans in just the 8th minute of play a lead which they doubled before the break thanks to Captain Megan Frazers efforts.

Italy reduced the deficit to one midway through the second half thanks to a well executed penalty corner but Ireland reinstated the two goal lead with a penalty corner routine converted by Cliodhna Sargent to close out the match with a solid 3-1 win.

Irish Coach Darren Smith was happy with the result “It was a good result today against a tough Italian team. I am reasonably happy with aspects of the game. When you consider we arrived at midnight trained in the morning and then matched up against a team who if it wasn’t for the continental qualification would have been at the World Cup, we did quite well.”

“We created some good opportunities and had good periods of possession in their half. I also thought at the back we were solid. It will be interesting to see how we do against a Welsh team who are training hard for the Commonwealth Games. We are looking forward to playing them.”

Starting XI: Emma Gray; Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Smyth, Nikki Evans, Alex Speers, Megan Frazer (Capt); Vanessa Surgeoner; Nicci Daly; Hannah Matthews; Gillian Pinder; Alison Meeke

Reserves: Stella Davis; Naomi Carroll; Aine Connery; Anna O’Flanagan; Deirdre Duke; Kate Dillon; Chloe Watkins