Ireland senior women’s head coach Sean Dancer had praise for his players’ second-half display in the 11-0 defeat of Belarus across the second EuroHockey Championships pool match.
Roisin Upton scored four goals - with a brace apiece by Anna O’Flanagan and Nikki Evans alongside efforts from Bethany Barr, Deirdre Duke and Zoe Wilson.
Ireland secured no fewer than 18 penalty corners across play, restricting Belarus to just three.
“It was a good tough game”, said Dancer, “We started quite well in the first quarter, obviously really pleasing to take an early lead.
“I felt we became a little complacent in the second quarter and we let Belarus back in to the game – not from a score point of view, but from a playing point of view.
“But a really pleasing second half, we stepped it up and played some good hockey.”
Ireland dominated the game with close to 54 per cent of the total possession according to the TMS stats, building it to over 60 per cent in the final quarter of the game.
Upton put Ireland on the scoreboard in the fourth minute when a penalty corner insertion from Hannah Matthews was deflected from Lizzie Colvin.
O’Flanagan followed with the second goal shortly after, similarly, an insertion from a penalty corner from Matthews to Colvin provided Chloe Watkins with an opportunity but the ball was saved and O’Flanagan’s goal resulted from a scuffle for a 2-0 half-time lead.
A flurry of goals marked the third quarter, with Ireland extending their lead to 8–0.
Colvin provided a lovely pass to O’Flanagan in the final quarter of the fixture as Duke and Upton brought the game to a close with a goal each from penalty corners.
Ireland meet Germany tomorrow morning in the closing pool match.
Ireland senior men tackle Germany this afternoon to wrap up the pool programme.
IRELAND: A.McFerran, K.Mullan, S.McCay, E.Tice, C.Watkins, L.Colvin, N.Daly, H.Matthews, S.Hawkshaw, A.O’Flanagan, Z.Wilson.
Subs: R.Upton, N.Evans, G.Pinder, B.Barr, E.Murphy, D.Duke, A.Meeke.