Sean Dancer’s charges went down to a ferocious Dutch side that looked every bit of their number-one ranking spot this afternoon in Utrecht. Ireland was on the back foot immediately when player of the match, Yibbi Jansen, hit home to put her team in front in the first minute. The Dutch played at an immense pace under new coach Paul van Ass and went two goals ahead in the first quarter when Jansen was again on target – this time from a penalty corner.
Ireland recovered in the second quarter and defended well against the World Champions, but it was the Netherlands who scored after a number of missed chances, this time through JoosjeBurg. Ireland remained three goals behind going into the half-time break.
The girls in green grew into the game in the second half, entering the Dutch circle several times but without any end result. The third quarter was the best period of the match for Ireland as they held the Dutch scoreless, launching several attacks themselves. But the Netherlands came out with renewed determination in the final quarter with Jansen again on the mark from a broken-down penalty corner. Joosje Burg then put the game beyond any doubt when she scored her second of the afternoon, her team’s fifth and the final one of the match as the Dutch won by five goals to nil.