Campbell and O’Loughlin strike to earn Ireland tight victory

Girls EuroHockey Youth Championships II
Ireland 2 (S Campbell S O’Loughlin) Lithuania 1 (B Norvaisaite)

Ireland beat Lithuania 2-1 on a rainy morning in Mori to finish top of Group A and put themselves in a very good position to earn promotion to the next grade, which would have been the main aim from the beginning. Goals from Sarah O’Loughlin and Sally Campbell in either half earned them the victory.

It rained heavily before the game, but Ireland didn’t let the conditions affect their game with Rhianna Campbell having a few good chances in the first 5 minutes of the game. The first 20 minutes or so were dominated by Ireland but they did not have anything to show for it.

Lithuania were soaking up the pressure and Ireland had to be wary of being caught by on the counter, which is when the opposition looked most dangerous.

Ireland did eventually get reward for their dominance with Sarah O’Loughlin scoring the first goal of the game and her third of the tournament. The goal came from a penalty corner in the 28th minute.

The half ended with Ireland leading 1-0. Whatever Genute Juodiene, the Lithuanian coach, said at half certainly paid off as Lithuania got back on level terms within the first minute of the second half through Benita Norvaisaite.

The next passage of the game was all Lithuania as they tried to get the goal that would put them in the lead. They put Ireland under huge pressure and it nearly paid off as the ball did end up in the goal from a penalty corner but was disallowed.

Ireland did get a foothold again in the game as the second half wore on but were unable to capitalise on the many chances and penalty corners that they were creating through the likes of Ellen Curran, Ava Beatty and Jessica McMaster. Two penalty corners were wasted until Sally Campbell scored Ireland’s second goal, her fourth in three games, in the 63rd minute to earn Ireland a hard fought win.

Lena Tice makes a tackle.

Lena Tice makes a tackle.

They are now into semi-Finals and await the completion of Group B to this evening to see who they will play on Friday, July 10 at 6.45pm. Their opponent in the semi-final will be one of Italy, Ukraine or Wales depending on how the final group games pan out.

Ireland: E Buckley(GK), R Mercer, E Noone, S O’Loughlin, L Tice, Z Wilson(c), R Campbell, S Campbell, T Hastings, A Hurst, K Larmour
Subs: C Cassin(GK), A Beatty, E Canning, E Curran, F McDermott, J McMaster, Z Malseed

Lithuania: D Sileviciute(GK), M Kontutyte, S Seputyte, T Petrikaite, G Skackauskaite, D Juraite, S Jakovlevaite(c), B Norvaisaite, P Mockute, K Kartanovic, R Klevickaite
Subs: K Ustinoviciute(GK), R Gudeliauskyte, J Baneviciute, K Caikauskaite, E Astrauskaite, A Zasinaite

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