Ireland’s women recorded their biggest ever win over South Africa from a mixed bag of fixtures in Stellenbosch over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Green Army lost 4-0 to Germany. Pia Maertens poked home a rebound in the first quarter following a speedy right-wing attack before a pair of strokes just before half-time moved Germany three clear – Viktoria Huse and Rebecca Grote scored one each.
Maertens then got the fourth goal in the 45th minute with a classy set of skills on the baseline before firing in.
A day later, Ireland were the ones doing the dominating against South Africa, winning 5-1. Anna O’Flanagan was at the heart of the first goal, laying off to Katie Mullan and then picking up Ellen Curran’s pass, leading to a reverse across goal which Nikki Evans turned in.
Two goals in a minute before half-time made it 3-0. Shirley McCay’s sweep hit a foot on the line and Lena Tice scored the ensuing stroke. Roisin Upton created and scored the third, stepping through to rob possession on halfway and she piled forward, feeding Evans who returned the favour for the Limerick woman to net.
O’Flanagan got her own goal early in the second half before Nomnikelo Veto got one back in 40th minute. Sarah Hawkshaw’s corner goal, however, finished off the scoring toward the end of the third quarter.
The tie saw Emily Beatty earn her 100th cap for Ireland.
Women’s senior international (both in Stellenbosch)
Saturday: Ireland 0 Germany 4 (P Maertens 2, V Huse, R Grote)
Sunday: Ireland 5 (N Evans, L Tice, R Upton, A O’Flanagan, S Hawkshaw) South Africa 1 (N Veto)
Tuesday: Ireland v South Africa, 5pm
Wednesday: Ireland v Germany, 5pm