The women’s team of Great Britain won the three match test series against Ireland 2-0. After GB clinched a victory in the first match, both teams drew in the second match (1-1). Great Britain finally took the win home by taking a victory in the third match 2-0.
Second test Saturday 29 March 2008
Great Britain – who were forced to reshape the heart of their defence due to the illness of captain Kate Walsh and the loss of Crista Cullen who fractured her finger in yesterday’s game – drew the second of three Tests 1-1 in Dublin this evening. The host country scored in the first half but this was cancelled out by a second half goal from Alex Danson.
Despite the Brits building up pressure, it was Ireland’s Roisin Flinn who converted a field goal in the 17th minute after picking up a ball from a defensive mistrap. GB never really threatened their opponents goal whilst Ireland grew in confidence as the half progressed.
GB came out strongly after the break winning a penalty corner in the 37th minute but Clewlow’s resulting shot was saved on the line by a defender. GB continued to push forward but were unable to capitalise and could not turn possession into goalscoring opportunities.
GB were frustrated as a resolute Irish defence dealt with the British forwards and Ireland themselves counter attacked causing trouble for the re-shaped GB defence.
GB’s reward came from Danson in the 64th minute as she scored with another deflection into the roof of the net from a free hit outside the circle delivered by Rachel Walker.
Head Coach Danny Kerry said “A mistrap cost us a goal and from that point onwards we had to play against a deep and strong defence. We lacked composure on numerous entries into the circle and it is credit that they kept on until the weight of penetration finally told.”
Third test Sunday 30 March 2008
Great Britain won the third of their three Test Matches against Ireland at the University College in Dublin earlier today, despite an uninspiring goalless first half performance from both teams. Laura Bartlett and Mel Clewlow put Britain 2-0 up before Lisa Jacobs pulled a goal back to put Ireland back in the game, but Alex Danson – who has scored in each of these Test Matches – restored a two goal cushion with seven minutes left on the clock.
Ireland started the stronger side creating more possession and a couple of chances. GB slowly became the dominant side and Wright went close in the 14th minute putting her shot past the post. Further chances fell to Herbert in the 18th minute and Danson two minutes later after a good run from Chloe Rogers. The best chance of the half fell to Beckie Herbert but she was unable to beat the Irish keeper after a one-on-one and Natalie Seymour’s follow up lacked the accuracy and power needed to trouble the scoreboard.
GB started the stronger in the second half and were rewarded with a field goal in the 47th minute when Bartlett picked up a loose ball in front of goal. Mel Clewlow added a second from a straight strike from the only penalty corner of the game in the 54th minute. Ireland continued to counter-attack and pulled a goal back in the 60th minute when Lisa Jacobs picked up a clearance from Beth Storry in goal to shoot it back past her.
With Ireland back in the game, Danson restored the two goal advantage getting a final touch after a good run by Rogers who celebrated her 23rd birthday today.
Head Coach Danny Kerry commented “I am pleased with the team today because we worked hard to break down a resilient and deep Irish defence. Eventually pressure told to give us a win from a better structured performance than yesterday”.
Source: Great Britain Hockey ltd.
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