Ireland unable to break down Belgian defence

Women’s senior international test match
Ireland 1 (Z Wilson) Belgium 2
Belgium held off concerted Irish pressure to claim back-to-back wins from their series this week, edging Ireland out 2-1 at Waterloo Ducks on Tuesday evening.

Belgium got off to a flyer scoring in the opening minutes from a corner with a lovely reverse deflection. Indeed, Irish keeper Grace O’Flanagan had to be at her best firstly saving from the penalty spot and then making a great reaction save to deflect high over the crossbar.

Graham Shaw’s side grew into the game with Kate Lloyd forcing the Belgium keeper into a class save. The hard-working press from Ireland was forcing a number of Belgium turnovers but they were caught to extend the lead out to 2-0.

That advantage was short lived with Zoe Wilson crashing home a corner to send the teams in at half time, the advantage with Belgium, and a 2-1 lead.

Wilson had to take a shot off the line in the early stages of the second half whilst Katie Mullan and captain for the day Lizzie Colvin tried to drive the team forward.

Yvonne O’Byrne was making some great runs down the right flank and Ireland pressure paid dividends in the 57th minute with a penalty corner but it was saved. They had the hosts pinned in their own half and bombarded the circle but they could not break through.

Ireland are next in action in Glasgow for a three test series v Scotland from November 6 to 9 before he selects his training panel for WL2 in Malaysia which will be played in Kuala Lumpur from January 14 to 22.

Ireland: Grace O Flanagan (GK), Clodagh Cassin (GK), Yvonne O Byrne, Kate Lloyd, Nicola Evans, Katy Mullan, Lena Tice, Naomi Carroll, Emily Beatty, Gillian Pinder, Sinead Loughran, Ruth Maguire, Robyn Chambers, Lizzie Colvin, Hannah Matthews, Zoe Wilson, Ali Meeke, Rebecca Barry

Belgium: Megane Simons (GK), Aisling D’Hooghe (GK), Louise Cavenaile, Aline Fobe, Anouk Raes, Judith Vandermeiren, Emma Puvrez, Lisa Scheerlinck, Alix Gerniers, Emilie Sinia, Anne-Sophie Weyns, Louise Versavel, Maureen Beernaert, Barbara Nelen, Silke Steenackers, Manon Simons, Jill Boon, Marie Lanckneus

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