Irish girls snatch a point with Spain after battling back

Emily Beattie scored twice to earn Ireland a draw with South Africa
Emily Beattie scored twice to earn Ireland a draw with South Africa

For the second day in a row Ireland came from behind to snatch a point at the Champions Challenge tournament in Glasgow as they drew 2-2 with Spain on Monday.

But it was even more nerve shredding for the Irish fans as their team trailed 2-0 after less than a quarter of an hour and by the same scoreline with only 10 minutes left.

However cometh the hour, cometh the woman and it was Emily Beatty who came to rescue with a superb double strike.

Following the opening draw with South Africa on Sunday, Ireland now have two points to their name, one more than the Spanish going into tomorrow’s game with the United States.

Spain went ahead in the 10th minute when Alicia Magaz deflected the ball into the net after it had been crashed into the circle.

Three minutes it was 2-0 and ireland had a real mountain to climb as Lola Riera’s drag flick at a penalty corner crept into the net past Irish keeper Emma Gray who should have done better.

Ireland had a chance to reduce the arrears before half time but Audrey O’Flynn, who had scored the equaliser in the opening draw against South Africa, saw her effort go narrowly over the bar.

It was all Ireland after the break as they mounted wave after wave of attacks and they eventually got their reward with 10 minutes to go.

Having fluffed several set pieces earlier in the game, reland at last converted one when Beatty lifted the ball over the keeper after a rebound.

With five minutes left Beatty drove into the circle from the left and her reverse stick shot somehow found it’s way into the net for the equalizer ireland just about deserved on the balance of play.

Ireland: Emma Gray GK; Cliodhna Sargent; Emma Smyth; Shirley McCay; Megan Frazer (Capt); Naomi Carroll; Audrey O’Flynn; Chloe Watkins; Nicci Daly; Anna O’Flanagan; Kate Dillon

Subs: Michelle Harvey; Nicola Evans; Ayeisha McFerran; Katie Mullan; Gillian Pinder

Results: south Africa 2 USA 1, Ireland 2 Spain 2.

Pool standings: 1. South Africa 4pts; 2. USA 3pts; 3. Ireland 2pts; 4. Spain 1pt.