Investec London Cup
Ireland 0 Netherlands 5 (Kelly Jonker 3, Marilyn Agliotti, Ellen Hoog)
Ireland will play Great Britain in Sunday morning’s fifth/sixth place playoff after they fell to a second defeat in the Investec London Cup this evening, undone by the world number one side.
A relatively quiet first half saw the Irish soak up sustained pressure, again opting for the aerial ball to clear from defence. Emma Gray made a host of top class saves to keep the Netherlands at bay but Kelly Jonker finally got past the Irish keeper with a sweetly struck reverse shot in the 32ns minute.
The second half told a different story as the Netherlands stepped up a gear. Jonker got on the score sheet twice more for her hat-trick while Marilyn Agliotti chipped in as did Ellen Hoog.
Despite the heavy final scoreline, Ireland captain Alex Speers was pleased with the team’s performance: “We competed well in the first half but in the second tired legs led to mistakes and the Netherlands exploited this.”
The Dutch had the bulk of possession early on and took just five minutes to secure their first corner. With regular drag-flicker Maartje Pauman not playing today the opportunity to try corner variations was used which Denis Pritchard’s side defended well.
Gray was equal to everything including an impressive reaction save low to her right from Naomi van As. Kitty van Male drew a double save, too, from the Hermes woman while she also dealt with a drilled corner shot from Caia van Maasakker before Jonker’s classy strike broke the deadlock.
The Dutch dictated play more in the second period with Jonker again providing the finishing touch after a penetrating run by Eva de Goede to make it 2-0.
In response, Audrey O’Flynn did draw a brilliant save from Joyce Sombroek from Ireland’s first corner but the Dutch did not sit back in the closing quarter. Agliotti was in the right place at the right time for a simple tap in after good work from Carlien Dirske van de Heuvel with a pin-point baseline pass.
A Van As run set up the fourth that Ellen Hoog tucked away from close range. Mirroring the first half, Jonker scored three minutes from time, completing her hat-trick and a 5-0 tally for the Netherlands.
Speaking about the tie, Pritchard reiterated that Ireland were hoping to learn much from the competition but said her side’s fitness proved an issue in the closing phases: “We competed well for good periods especially in the first half but our conditioning understandably did not match the Dutch and that led to lapses in concentration.
“There were some pleasing performances especially from some of our younger players.”
Ireland will now play Great Britain at 10.30am on Sunday morning.
Ireland: E Gray, N Atcheler, S McCarthy, C Sargent, A O’Flynn, N Symmons, E Clarke, A Speers, A Connery, N Evans, N Daly
Subs: P Smithwick, M Harvey, A O’Flanagan, C Watkins, M Crowley.
Investec London Cup, results: Netherlands 5 (K Jonker 3, E Hoog, M Agliotti) Ireland 0 Group 2 standings: 1. Netherlands 6pts (+6) 2. Australia 3pts (+2) 3. Ireland opts (-8)
Group 1 results: Germany 2 Great Britain 1 Standings: 1. Germany 6pts (+2) 2. South Africa (2) 3pts (+1) 3. Great Britain 0pts (-3)
** Pics courtesy of Ady Kerry/Great Britain Hockey
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