The Irish Women’s team got off to a winning start after beating the Czech Republic 4-1 at World League 2 in Valencia on Monday despite losing an early goal in warm conditions in Spain.
Darren Smith’s side fell behind in the fifth minute when a defensive mix up resulted in the ball somehow finding its way into the Ireland goal.
It wasn’t the start the Green Army would have wanted but credit to the side led by Captain Alex Speers, they were up for a fight and worked hard to get themselves back into contention in the important opening game.
Ireland’s equaliser finally came off the back of their third penalty corner with Hermes Lisa Jacob finishing off a rebound following a good save from the Czechs.
Ireland struck again before half time to turn the tide in their favour when Corinthian player Aine Connery trapped a crossed ball into the circle and expertly finished to give Ireland a 2-1 lead.
The second half began with Ireland racing into a two goal lead when Audrey O’Flynn converted a penalty corner within two minutes of the restart to extend the lead to 3-1.
Ireland managed to add a fourth goal through UCD’s Nicola Gray.
Ireland were efficient in the remainder of game and could have extended their lead but in the end, must be satisfied to run out 4-1 winners despite the early scare.
Coach Darren Smith said “Our win was a reasonable start for us. The Czech team played as we expected. We need to be tighter defensively against Belarus, and be sharper and more creative offensively.”