SPAR Indoor Hockey Series
Ireland 1 (O Fox) South Africa 3 (K de Waal 2, E Walters)
South Africa took game four and the overall series victory in the SPAR Indoor Hockey Series as Kayla de Waal turned on the style at Gormanston Park with a virtuoso double in front of a packed house.
It made it three on the bounce for the visitors after Ireland had won the opening tie on Monday with the series coming to a close on Friday night.
After a lively opening, De Waal broke the deadlock in the seventh minute with a super spin in mid-circle to force the ball over the line. It continued her goal a game record in the series to date.
Ireland replied in kind, winning two penalty corners but the SA defence were well organised by Jessica O’Connor – becoming their most capped indoor international on the night – and they held things tight throughout.
De Waal, with a classy corner, doubled up in the 15th minute and was only denied a hat trick by a super Emma Buckley save.
Ireland ramped up their performance in the second half with the diminutive Laura Graham winning two corners but Charlize Swanepoel was in inspired form between the posts.
Millie Regan was too, denying Danielle de Oliveira after some serious hustle forced the chance. Rob Abbott swapped out his goalkeeper with six minutes to go to try and force a comeback and it did lead to multiple chances, Lily Lloyd going closest.
But South Africa took advantage of their extra player with Eloise Walters getting on the end of a big chance to make it 3-0. Orla Fox got one back from the penalty spot in the closing seconds.
Ireland: E Buckley, S Patton, L Graham, M Power, O Patton, A Benson
Subs: S Barnwell, S Campbell, O Fox, K Kimber, L Lloyd, M Regan
South Africa: N Serage, J Southgate, D de Oliveira, E Molikoe, J O’Connor, E Walters
Subs: K de Waal, T Kock, R Johnson, J Lardant, D van Taak, C Swanepoel
— Hockey Ireland (@irishhockey) February 24, 2022