Dark turns out the lights on Ireland in cracking women’s opening tie

Women’s Indoor International Series – game one
Ireland 2 (S Patton, M Power) Scotland 3 (E Dark 2, M Justice)

Emily Dark’s double saw Ireland succumb to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Scotland at the Antrim Foym in the first of their three game international indoor series.

Ireland were in control at half-time, leading 2-0 after Sarah Patton and Mikayla Power goals but Dark’s pair either side of a Margery Justice finish saw the Scots win out.

Patton got the hosts off to a dream start when she burst down the right wing and flicked in by Carmin Dow ticking past the first minute.

From there, Scotland enjoyed more of the ball as Ireland played in a low dice and were thankful to some excellent goalkeeping from Emma Buckley, racing off her line well to shut down chances.

The one time she was beaten, Chloe Brown was wheeling across the goal line to clean up the pieces and she took a Scottish shot off the line.

On the ball, Lily Lloyd was a key figure with her dancing skills and Ireland went 2-0 up when 16-year-old tyro Mikayla Power reacted fastest to a loose ball and flicked in from mid-circle.

Patton seemed destined to make it 3-0 only for sub goalkeeper Jessica Buchanan to produce a remarkable diving save early in the third quarter. Emily Dark’s pin-point penalty corner, though, cut the gap in the 27th minute to put the contest back in the mix.

Both sides hit the post soon after before Justice levelled the contest in the 36th minute and Dark popped up with the winner in the closing seconds with an emphatic corner flick into the roof of the net.

Captain Orla Fox reflected on the tie, saying: “We have a lot of new caps today which has shown the growth of the game and it is so nice to play a home game but it is disappointing, losing it in the last quarter. These games are so useful for us ahead of the Europeans in January and we have a good chance to suss out what our opposition will be like.”

Ireland: E Buckley, S Patton, L Lloyd, O Patton, M Power, L Graham
Subs: C Brown, O Fox, R McMullen, A Benson, K Kimber, B Maye

Scotland: C Dow, R Blaikie, E Wilson, F Semple, M Justice, E Dark
Subs: M Steiger, C Watson, C Hay, S Hinds, K Stott, J Buchanan

Tuesday, December 28:
Ireland 3 (M Crooks, R Patterson, R Canning) Scotland 7 (J Golden 3, C Golden 2, P Christie 2)
Wednesday, December 29: Ireland v Scotland, 10am; Ireland v Scotland, 2pm

Tuesday, December 28:
Ireland 2 (S Patton, M Power) Scotland 3 (E Dark 2, M Justice)
Wednesday, December 29: Ireland v Scotland, 11.30am; Ireland v Scotland, 3.30pm