Women’s senior international test match
Ireland 4 (N Evans 2, S Hawkshaw, D Duke) Italy 1 (C Ruggieri)
Ireland’s women ran up another strong win over Italy at Stormont with Nikki Evans scoring twice in an impressive all-round performance.
Yvonne O’Byrne, Chloe Watkins and Emma Buckley all came back into the side but Megan Frazer and Nicci Daly remained on the sidelines.
Buckley was called into action early on with the visitors fronting up better than Sunday’s encounter.
Evans, though, put Ireland in front when Roisin Upton took a series of visiting defenders and then sent the perfect crash across the circle for the deflection.
Italy equaliser in the second quarter following an interception deep in Irish territory with Giulianna Ruggieri getting on the end of their first goal of the series.
It remained 1-1 into half-time but Evans restored the advantage early in the third quarter when she was sniping at close quarters after Deirdre Duke let fly with a shot.
Buckley was called on to make some acrobatic saves as the game opened up with Ireland winning a number of corners. From one early in the fourth quarter, Upton shot goalwards and Sarah Hawkshaw got the deflection.
Hannah Matthews had another ruled out for shooting too high at corner time – won by Evans – before Duke did get the fourth goal confirmed in the 58th minute.
Ireland’s next port of call before the Europeans will take place on August 7 and 9 at Wilrijkse Plein – the tournament venue – against Belgium before final selection is confirmed on August 11.
Ireland: E Buckley, R Upton, N Evans, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, B Barr, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: Y O’Byrne, C Watkins, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, E Curran, S Barr