SoftCo Series – Ireland v Japan – Game 1.

Ireland 0 Japan 2 (K Tanaka, M Toriyama)

Two final quarter goals saw Japan land the opening laurels from the SoftCo Series at Belfield, getting the better of Ireland 2-0 in their four game schedule this week.


The Green Army had the best of the first and third quarters but found the finishing touch elusive while the world number 10 Japanese side took theirs.


Kaho Tanaka’s delightful lob and a sharp rebound from Mai Toriyama with two minutes to go made the difference.


“I thought we played really well today and certainly dominated the game,” said coach Sean Dancer.


“Japan are a good team and are always going to keep running. We had our chances and didn’t put them away and then the game ran away from us. Overall result, we are disappointed but, big picture, happy enough.


“We had enough chances to win the game but we have got to start scoring them. We are working hard on some of the decision-making and shot selection but it will click.”


Dancer will also have a concern over Naomi Carroll who picked up a head injury in the first half which ended her role in this contest.


The sides meet again on Sunday at 4pm at the same venue and play a further two times next Wednesday and Thursday in the final warm-up games before the World Cup begins on July 2nd.


Sunday also sees the first fixture in the Uniphar Five Nations tournament, also, at Belfield with Ireland’s Under-23 selection facing India at 2pm


Ireland: A McFerran, E Curran, L Tice, R Upton, H McLoughlin, C Perdue, S Hawkshaw, M Carey, Z Malseed, S Torrans, K Mullan

Subs: N Carroll, S McAuley, C Beggs, K McKee, D Duke, C Hamill, S O’Brien, E Getty, L Murphy