Ireland start Euro campaign with 7-1 win over France

Women’s Eurohockey Championships II, Prague
Ireland 7 (N Carroll 2, M Frazer 2, N Daly, K Mullan, D Duke) France 1 (P Berly)

Ireland swept to a fine 7-1 in Graham Shaw’s first game in charge to get their EuroHockey Championships II in Prague off to the perfect start, beating France with plenty to spare.

There was an initial wobble after Katie Mullan’s opening goal as former Ulster Elks player Philippine Berly equalised within a minute to make it 1-1.

But that was from a rare French breakout and Ireland were the dominant force throughout. Naomi Carroll and Nicci Daly both scored in quick succession to make it 3-1 by the 13th minute.

It remained that way until early in the second half when captain Megan Frazer darted through the centre of the French defence two minutes into the second half for the fourth goal.

Deirdre Duke was next on the score sheet as she skilfully drew the goalkeeper from her line and side stepped around her to score. Again Frazer showed her skill, leaving defenders in her wake, as she set up Carroll for her second goal. With a minute to go, Frazer scored again to make the final score 7-1.

Kerri McDonald made her debut in the tie, coming into the fray after six minutes.

Speaking after his first match in charge, coach Shaw said: “We’re happy with the result and are looking to make improvements in every game. I thought the game was a bit loose at times but to score seven goals in an international match is always nice. We must recover well now and get ready for Ukraine tomorrow night”.

Ireland’s next match is against Ukraine tomorrow at 7.15pm (Irish time) and can be watched live here: http://www.playo.tv/video/Ukraine-vs-Ireland-1786.aspx.

Elsewhere, the Irish Under-16 boys lost 4-2 to the Netherlands with goals from Ben Wallace and Jack O’Grady.

Ireland: A McFerran, C Brown, K Mullan, S McCay, M Frazer (c), N Carroll, G Pinder, C Watkins, N Daly, H Matthews, C Sargent
Subs: Y O’Byrne, K Lloyd, D Duke, K McDonald, A Meeke, E Beatty.

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