Ireland draw with India in Spain

Sarah Hawkshaw' equalised for Ireland.
Sarah Hawkshaw' equalised for Ireland.

With only one place in the world rankings between Ireland and India this was always likely to be an evenly contested clash.

Ireland welcomed back Lizzie Colvin and Shirley McCay to the fray for the first time since their historic World Cup final and Colvin was quick to make an impact in mid field; pulling defenders away to create space before releasing passes to the wings.

India won an early penalty corner and netted a goal in the opening quarter, but it was rightly disallowed after hitting an India foot.

Recently capped Serena Barr was distributing the ball with ease in the Irish midfield while Hannah Matthews was on hand to dispossess the Indian attackers as they opted for the direct route.

It was a powerful penalty corner drag flick from Gurjit Kaur that broke the deadlock in the first half.

Katie Mullan led the chase as Ireland searched for an equaliser with a powerful pass across the face of goal, but Aisling Naughton’s deflection went just wide of Rani’s goal.

Matthews was pulling the strings in the backline and sent a pinpoint pass to Ali Meeke who calmly found Sarah Hawkshaw in front of goal for the equaliser.

The experienced Indian side tested Emma Buckley on several occasions but the Racing keeper frustrated the strikers with several fine saves.

Ireland had the opportunity to put the game to bed in the final moments from a penalty corner won by Anna O’Flanagan following a great team move from Sinead Loughran, Hawkshaw and Leah McGuire but the eventual effort was cleared and the sides shared the spoils in an even contest.

Ireland: E Buckley, R Upton, C Brown, K Mullan, S Loughran, H McLoughlin, L Colvin, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, E Curran.

Subs: E Murphy, A Naughton, S McCay, S Barr, D Duke, A Meeke, L McGuire