The women’s team of South Africa defeated Ireland 1-0 in the second test match in wet and windy conditions that was more akin to Irish weather than would be expected of Cape Town in South Africa.
Ireland started the match more keenly and confident this evening creating some good attacking play and putting the South African's under pressure from the start. However, the Irish defense was also put to the test early on in the first half but some smart saves from Keeper Goode kept a clean sheet for Ireland throughout the first half. Eimear Cregan, who captained the side today and was also the most outstanding player of both sides on the field today was most dangerous player on the field displaying both flair and dynamism. Both sides had equal opportunities through a couple of penalty corners but both keepers were on form today and kept the attackers at bay for the first thirty five leaving the sides scoreless at half time.
In the second half of this match Ireland displayed some of their best hockey since the Europeans they created the best move of the game just six minutes in when McKeever fed the ball out of the defense up the left line to pick up Eimear Cregan who beat a number of players to weave her way into the circle only for her shot to skim the outside of the post. Cregan still continued to create chances for Ireland as she combined well with both Lisa Jacob and Cathy McKean to force several attacks and a penalty corner all of which remained unconverted as Ireland continued to chase a score. Their lucky break seemed to arrive twenty minutes into the second half when cleaver play from Julia O'Hallorhan forced the South African's to concede a penalty stroke but the luck of the Irish was no where to be seen in Cape Town tonight when a Nicky Symmons stroke was denied by the on form keeper. This seemed to be a turning point in the game and the home side started to pile the pressure on and with only ten minutes left on the clock they forced the Irish to concede a stroke which was cooly taken by Karen Tarryn to score the one and only goal of the match in South Africa's favor.
Despite South Africa losing a player and Ireland piling on the pressure the equalizer was not there for the visitors and so they closed out the match losing one nil.
Commenting after the game Coach Muller said "Tonight was a significant improvement on our first match against South Africa. We are creating many chances and we made less errors tonight. The loss was disappointing as we played to win this match" commented Coach Gene Muller
Source: Irish Hockey Association
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