Senior Women’s International challenge match
Ireland 2 (Anna O’Flanagan, Megan Frazer) Scotland 0
After a couple of middling results against Wales and Canada, Ireland’s senior women produced impressive back-to-back wins over Scotland in Newtownabbey as second half goals from Anna O’Flanagan and Megan Frazer saw them succeed 2-0.
It added to Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the same opposition but coach Darren Smith was not getting too carried away with the performance, saying afterwards that Ireland needed to show greater composure.
“The game had plenty of passion and commitment but the match reduced in quality a little because of this. Scotland were very effective in their pressing and were able to generate opportunities off their commitment to close down defenders. We need to be able to show higher levels of composure under this sort of pressure.”
Scotland came out strong in the early period putting the hosts on the back foo but quality chances were at a premium. Ireland’s best chance came following good play be Nicci Daly to win Ireland’s first penalty corner of the game.
Lisa Jacob though saw the resulting flick well blocked to keep the tie scoreless at the break. The second half saw Ireland swing the pendulum in their favour. They were rewarded in the 64th minute when O’Flanagan struck well following a good interchange from Niamh Atcheler and Nikki Symmons who worked the ball to the UCD woman who coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Scottish keeper.
And they made the game safe within a minute from yet another sweeping move that this time was slotted home neatly by Megan Frazer to make it 2-0.
From a Scottish prespective, coach Gordon Shepherd said, “We played with intensity and commitment for 60 out of the 70 minutes. A loss of concentration and defensive structure caused us to lose two goals. Again the score flatters to deceive.”
Ireland will face Scotland for the final time on Friday at 12pm at Mossley Hockey Club, Newtownabbey.