Irish denied by Dutch on historic occasion

Youth Olympic Games: Ireland 1 (Emily Beatty) Netherlands 3 (Floortje Plokker, Roos Broek, Frederique Derkx)
Ireland produced a rousing performance in the first ever Youth Olympic Games but were unlucky not to earn greater spoils against a powerful Netherlands’ outfit – featuring six of their 2010 European championship winning side – at a lightning threatened SengKang stadium in Singapore today.

Emily Beatty (pictured) netted a 42nd minute equaliser but the Dutch stole ahead two mintues later through Roos Broek and, after a 30-minute delay due to storms, Ireland struggled to regain their rhythm in the closing quarter.

Frederique Derkx – a star of the European U-16 championships – netted a drag-flick in the closing minutes to copper-fasten the win.

Nonetheless, coach Dave Passmore was enthused by the first competitive international for this U-17 selection.

“It was an excellent performance in so many ways that we need to learn from the little things that turn games. Given that we pretty much matched the Dutch for chances the girls were disappointed not to get a result. We need to build on the performance tomorrow playing with the same intensity and results will follow.”

Manager Una McCarthy echoed Passmore’s sentiments: “The girls played to the game plan and showed the young talent that we have in the team, it was a tremendous honour to be playing the first every Olympic Hockey match at this level and the team matched the occasion with a fitting performance.”

Early on, the sides matched up pretty evenly with the Dutch holding more possession while the Irish created clearer chances with two corner efforts denied.

Jenna Holmes saved well from the first Dutch corner in the 18th minute but, four minutes later, Floortje Plokker scored the first goal in the competition’s history when she took the ball reverse-stick-side to the edge of the circle and smashed in.

Beatty went close in the aftermath to level – the Alex girl’s aerial effort going just wide – while Elise Nix and Broek were sin-binned. But Beatty did get the decisive touch after the turnaround when she completed a fine passing move down the right wing to touch home.

Broek had the Netherlands back in front within 120 seconds, however, before Derkx flicked home the insurance goal. Ireland play their next tie at 11am (Irish Time) tomorrow against New Zealand. They have also been joined by Amy-Kate Trevor who has come into the panel in place of Gemma Fraser who was ruled out of the competition due to acclimitisation issues.

* For more photos from the game between Ireland and the Netherlands and to follow the tournament, click here.

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