Irish Women dominate play in Havelock Park to secure Semi-final
Through to Saturday’s semi-final, an 11-0 win saw the Irish Women dominate play for the entire game with Singapore rarely managing to bring play down into the Irish half of the pitch. The majority of the game comprised of free moving, attacking hockey from the host nation, keeping Singapore under pressure throughout.
The first chance of the game came from Roisin Upton with a drag flick that went wide. However, Megan Frazer put Ireland on the score board shortly after, with an Upton pass to O’Flanagan setting her up nicely to get the goals rolling. The next goal came from Katie Mullan as little as 2 minutes later. Gillian Pinder was next to add to the goals 2 minutes later again stealing the ball from the Singapore defence and knocking it with a reverse stick. Ireland ended the first quarter with a 3-0 lead having held the majority of possession.
Roisin Upton got her next chance from a PC. Inserted by Watkins and deflected by O’Flanagan, Upton managed to slot the ball in passed the Singapore’s Felissa Lai. Less than a minute later a similar play from Watkins and O’Flanagan allowed Lena Tice to slap one into the back of the net making it 5-0 to Ireland.
Sarah Hawkshaw wasn’t long making it 6-0 with a nice deflection in the circle, before Upton came back to claim her second goal of the game, also from a PC, with an expertly executed drag flick from an O’Flanagan deflection. The half-time whistle blew with a 7-0 lead to the Green Army.
A lovely interception from Zoe Wilson in the third quarter led to a chance for Ali Meeke in the circle, although this ended slightly wide. While Ireland remained the dominant team and seemed comfortably in control, a number of lost opportunities were evident as Ireland failed to add to their goal tally in this period. However, Megan Frazer was on fire in Midfield running circles around Singapore giving the 800 or so school children in attendance a real show of skills for them to savour.
A Wilson shot in the final quarter was defended by Goalkeeper Felissa Lai, but Hannah Matthews was on hand to secure the rebound to get the goals going again for the final quarter. Shirley McCay provided a lovely deflection giving lead tournament goal-scorer Anna O’Flanagan the chance to slot one into the net. McCay took her 281st cap today, making her the most capped Irish player, male or female, in any sport. A position she previously held, she takes the title back from Eugene Magee of the Men’s team.
Katie Mullan gave the home crowd an impressive strike with the power and precision to bury the ball in the bottom corner of the goal, putting Ireland’s goal count into double digits. While Zoe Wilson provided an 11th goal while the crowd was on the countdown from 3.
Speaking on the match, Interim Head Coach Gareth Grundie said “I’m pleased with the way we approached the game today.
We started again with real attacking intent, creating plenty of chances and scored a few nice goals.
We’re delighted to top the group and go through to the semi-finals on Saturday.”
Thursday’s matches will see Malaysia who were 2nd in Pool A take on France who were 3rd in Pool B. While Scotland who were 2nd in Pool B will take on the Czech Republic.
Saturday 15th of June will see Singapore play Ukraine for 7th and 8th position. Safely topping Pool A Ireland will play in the first semi-final of the day, which will get underway at 13:15, taking on the winner of Scotland v Czech Republic. Korea will then play the winner of Malaysia v France in the second semi-final later that afternoon.
Ireland: A McFerran, R Upton, S McCay, M Frazer, E Tice, G Pinder, B Barr, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: E Buckley, K Mullan,L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, A Meeke.
Singapore: P Maligaya, N A Abdull, I Chan, P Ho, N S Saban, H Johana, L M Toh, L Tan, F Lai, R Sanip, G Leck
Subs: Y T Liu, J NG, X Chua, S Wong, C Chia, S NG, M Francis