Evans earns draw and share of Spain series spoils

Women’s Senior International test match
Ireland 1 (Nikki Evans) Spain 1 (Maria Tost)

Nikki Evans scored a late goal to earn Ireland a draw and a share of the spoils from the three-game series in Valencia this week.

The first quarter ended scoreless with a couple of chances to each side but defences were largely on top. Rocio Ybarra had the pick of the chances, set up by Berta Bonastre, while Bea Perez also went close.

Emma Gray kept out the first Spanish corner before Ireland created their best chance of the half when Shirley McCay found Deirdre Duke in the circle but she saw her opening snuffed out.

Spain took the lead in the third quarter from Maria Tost, rebounding off the back of Gloria Comerma’s corner strike in the 39th minute.

Evans equalised, though, when she intercepted to leave her one-on-one with Maria Lopez de Eguilaz and she fired a great reverse-stick finish late on.

Irish coach Darren Smith said of the game and the tour as a whole: “It was a hard fought game with Spain in possession for decent periods. I thought we were robust and competitive without the quality needed to accumulate the attaching pressure.

“The positives were that we hung in there to the end to create an opportunity which was well finished. We also played the majority of the match without Megan [Frazer] meaning we all had to step up in her absence. A very beneficial 12 days in Valencia”

Ireland: E Gray, S Davis, C Sargent, E Smyth, C Brown, N Evans, S McCay, M Frazer, N Carroll, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, K Mullan, A O’Flanagan, D Duke, K Dillon, Y O’Byrne, E Beatty

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