Women’s senior international test match
Thursday: Ireland 1 (A O’Flanagan) China 0
Ireland won their series against China with two wins from two of the formally capped matches at Belfield this week.
The Green Army won last Sunday’s first test 4-2 before winning Thursday evening’s tie 1-0 at the same venue, Anna O’Flanagan getting the only goal in the 17th minute.
For captain Katie Mullan, she said it was a strong series as preparations continue for November’s Olympic qualifiers against Canada.
“Excellent preparation,” she said. “China play very quick hockey and swarm the ball a lot so we didn’t have time to think on the ball and so it is really positive to come out with clean sheets in today and Tuesday’s [uncapped] game. That’s massive.
“As well to score four goals the first day, it’s really positive. We are ticking along nicely now. The new style of hockey we are playing is proving promising so we are delighted.”
She adds that coach Sean Dancer is quickly managing to get across a more attacking style of play which Mullan is enjoying.
“We feel positive in the way we are playing and Sean has pushed us. We are training harder than we ever have before and are fitter than ever. That’s showing in the way we play and it is a really enjoyable style. It suits us and suits our physique. It’s promising when you change some things and you get the results. It helps you believe in it.”
Ticket for the Olympic qualifiers go on sale on October 1 via the hockey.ie website. There will be two categories of day ticket available – covered seating and terrace standing – with terrace standing prices from €10 for under 16s and €25 for adults.
Seats in the covered stand are €40 on Saturday and €35 on Sunday with a combined weekend ticket for €70.
Hospitality tables for 10 people will be available to book via https://www.hockeyqualifierticketsdublin.com/ next week along with full details of what is included.
SoftCo, the team’s main sponsor, will be running a competition in October to find mascots! This will be open to boys and girls and you will find details shortly at https://twitter.com/SoftCoGroup
“Donnybrook is an exciting adventure for us,” Mullan continued. “Most importantly, we hope there is a massive crowd and a sea of green supporting us. That’s all we can hope for.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Lena Tice.
“We are certainly working as hard as we can be. We are really being putting through our paces and are excited for the day to come around and we will be ready. The idea of playing in front of a reall big home crowd is something special and it will give us a real boost. It is something which hasn’t been done before in Ireland!”
She won her 100th cap earlier in the week alongside Zoe Wilson.
“It was a really special day and to share that occasion together. We have been playing together side by side since we were about 13 years old!”
Ireland: A McFerran, Y O’Byrne, S Barr, L Tice, E Beatty, G Pinder, L Colvin, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, E Curran, K Mullan
Subs: B Barr, N Evans, R Upton, S McCay, N Daly, A Meeke, E Buckley
China: J Ye, X Zhang, J he, Y Chen, J Zhonhg, H Li, X Xi, Q Cui, B Gu, M Liang, J Li
Subs: W Xu, X Song, X Xi, Z Ou