Ireland A faced Canada for the second time this week at the National Hockey Stadium in UCD drawing two all despite dominating the majority of the match.

Ireland opened in a similar fashion to yesterday’s two nil victory, dominating and dictating the play and pace. The girls in green, captained by Shirley McKay, applied pressure from the word go but the Canadians managed to soak up the Irish attacks more confidently today, conceding only two penalty corners in the first half compared to yesterday’s ten.

Ireland’s first clear chance of a goal came with a penalty corner in the twelfth minute when the shot to the post went unmet by the incoming attacker. But Ireland didn’t have to wait long and eight minutes later their persistence paid off when young Watkins slipped the next penalty corner to Cork’s Cliodhna Sargent who fired home a shot rebounding off the oncoming defender into the back of the net, opening Ireland’s account for a one nil lead.

The goal proved to be a rude awakening for the Canadians who for the following five minutes managed to step up their game and force the play in around Ireland’s circle, but a strong Irish defence held strong, maintaining their clean sheet.

Ireland regained composure and with just six minutes left on the clock a cross ball was fired in from the left hand side to be met by an oncoming Nikki Evans who’s deflection left the Canadian keeper with no chance and gave Ireland a two nil lead at half time.

The second half presented a more open game gifting the Canadians with more chances than ever to convert and forcing the Irish girls to work harder. Despite looking more dangerous on the attack and winning two more penalty corners Ireland’s efforts went unrewarded. With just six minutes to go a defensive error in the circle saw Ireland turn over the ball affording Thea Culley from Canada the chance to fire home at close range to bring her side back within a goal.

Four minutes later Ireland conceded their only penalty corner of the game and a straight strike, deflecting off an Irish stick on the way in was enough fro the Canadians to pull a surprise draw out the bag.

Ireland – Canada 2-2 (2-0).
Goals Ireland: Cliodhna Sargent 20m; Nicky Evans 29m.
Goals Canada: Thea Culley 64m; Stephanie Jameson 68m

Source: Irish Hockey Association