Meeke strikes late on for strong win over Germany

Women’s Three Nations tournament
Germany 1 (H Gablac) Ireland 2 (A O’Flanagan, A Meeke)
Ali Meeke’s last minute goal gave Ireland a big boost as they beat the Olympic bronze medalists 2-1 in their Three Nations tournament in Dusseldorf.

It came a month to the day before they line out in their first World Cup game and was a far cry from their recent performances against lower ranked Canada whom they lost and drew with.

Anna O’Flanagan rebounded an Ali Meeke shot to give Ireland an early lead, her 62nd international goal which moves her just three off the all-time record held by Lynsey McVicker.

From there, Ireland held firm in defence with Lena Tice and Hannah Matthews to the fore while Ayeisha McFerran was strong between the posts, keeping out a string of penalty corners.

Ireland did have the best of the closing phases of the half with the returning Nikki Evans and O’Flanagan causing problems while Chloe Watkins went close.

They held the narrow lead all the way up to the 55th minute when Hannah Gablac levelled matters when Germany had gone to a kicking back.

They persisted with the strategy, however, and Ireland punished them when Shirley McCay’s clever pass found O’Flanagan in the circle, laying off for Meeke to calmly finish into an open net.

Ireland are next in action on Saturday when they meet the Canadians and they will face Germany on Sunday in a challenge match. These are the last games before Graham Shaw selects his final panel for the World Cup.

Ireland: A McFerran, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, E Beatty, G Pinder, R Upton, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, A Meeke
Subs: D Duke, S Torrans, L Colvin, C Watkins, L Tice, Y O’Byrne

Saturday: Ireland v Canada, 5pm, Dusseldorf

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