Tice drags Ireland to first win of Olympic year

Women’s senior international

Ireland 1 (L Tice) South Africa 0

Lena Tice’s 33rd minute penalty corner drag-flick saw Ireland get their six-game series in South Africa up and running with a win, starting OIympic year on the front foot.

Sean Dancer made a number of saves from the side that won the ticket to Tokyo with Emily Beatty, Hannah McLoughlin, Sarah Torrans and Ellen Curran coming into the line-up.

They started well with a lovely move from Chloe Watkins’ interception leading to a nice interchange with Nikki Evans and Sarah Hawkshaw almost unlocking the door.

The Green Army had the best of that quarter but South Africa were on the up in the second, albeit with chances scarce at either end. The hosts did have the ball in the net from the only corner of the first half but Lisa-Marie Deetlefs sweep was too high for an initial strike.

Ireland went in front early in the second half when Deirdre Duke – introduced at half-time – won a corner with one of her first acts and Tice did the rest.

SA earned an instant corner in reply but could not stop it and Ireland spent the rest of the game working reasonably well with a three-quarter press earning a couple of well-placed turnovers.

Chloe Watkins had a drag tipped away by Marlise van Tonder and Hawkshaw’s shot on the spin was inches wide.

Ireland celebrate Lena Tice’s goal. Picture: Kym Clayton Photography

Roisin Upton departed the scene after a lengthy injury break after a ball was whipped into her thigh with 12 minutes to go. Two further Irish corners went incomplete while Anna O’Flanagan’s flick was smothered by van Tonder but Ireland held on for an initial win.

Ireland play the Dutch Under-21s in a friendly on Tuesday before facing a tie against Germany next Saturday.

Ireland: L Murphy, R Upton, S Barr, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, E Beatty, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, E Curran

Subs: H McLoughlin, H Matthews, L Colvin, S Torrans, N Evans, D Duke

South Africa: M Modipane, C Evans, K Paton, K-L Botes, D Chamberlain, L-M Deetlefs, N Veto, E Hunter, L de Plessis, O Mali, Q Bobbs

Subs: O Zulu, S van Jaarsveldt, R Johnson, H Pearce, S Baxter, T Mallett, M van Tonder

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