Eire captain Katie Mullan arrange two of the targets as her group opened their account with a powerful 4-1 win over Spain within the first of 5 internationals in Murcia yesterday.
t was a triumphant return to motion for the Irish, who have been enjoying their first aggressive match for nearly a 12 months.
Final January, Eire performed a complete of 5 video games towards South Africa and Germany in Stellenbosch with blended outcomes. Then the Covid-19 pandemic pressured the cancellation of a number of video games in 2020, together with a collection with China and heat climate coaching camps in Malaysia and South Africa.
Extra just lately, not one of the gamers have been in a position to play for his or her golf equipment within the Irish Hockey League after October, with only a handful of fixtures doable earlier than proceedings have been halted.
In distinction, Spain’s gamers have been in league and worldwide motion, enjoying a three-match collection with Belgium in Valencia a fortnight in the past.
Eight Ulster lady are in southern Spain for the present collection towards the 2018 World Cup bronze medallists, who additionally completed third within the 2019 European Championship.
Eire have been drawn in the identical pool as Spain on this 12 months’s Euros, however have averted them within the Tokyo Olympics.
Mullan’s facet confirmed few indicators of ring rustiness in a dominant efficiency towards their hosts, who’re working with a pre-Olympic coaching panel of 33.
Eire have lowered their squad to 23, with 18 to go to the Euros in Amsterdam in June and 16 plus two travelling reserves to be named for Tokyo.
5 girls within the present squad will subsequently miss out on any involvement in what might be Eire’s first Olympic look so the journey to Spain is a vitally necessary aspect of the choice course of.
Belfast Harlequins star Megan Frazer and uncapped Ards striker Zara Malseed have been among the many gamers to sit down out yesterday’s recreation.
Frazer continues to be being troubled by a long-term knee harm whereas Malseed is carrying a knock.
Additionally sitting out yesterday’s opening recreation of the collection as a result of harm was Catholic Institute defender Roisin Upton whereas one other 2018 World Cup silver medallist, goalkeeper Grace O’Flanagan was rested.
Spain took an early lead which they held till the tip of the primary quarter earlier than Eire slipped into gear.
Mullan stole possession early within the second interval and, after some neat interaction with Nicci Daly, arrange Nikki Evans for the equaliser on the far put up.
The Ballymoney player-coach then offered the chance for Deirdre Duke to attain the go-ahead aim after the lengthy break.
Duke acquired her second within the third quarter, making it 3-1 after good build-up play from Anna O’Flanagan and Daly.
O’Flanagan then turned scorer late on, sealing the win when she fired residence from the sting of the circle after a swift counter assault.