Ireland defeat Azerbaijan

June 19, 2011


Ireland secured their second win today in the ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I tournament against Azerbaijan today in UCD.

Ireland looked confident and composed from the off and similar to yesterday secured a number of penalty corners in the first half.

It was on their third that Audrey O’Flynn fired home a great drag flick to put Ireland ahead.

Ireland looked likely to double their lead when Watkins broke through but her efforts went unrewarded.

But just seconds later Azerbaijan equalised taking full advantage of an opportunistic moment when Ireland’s defence were caught off guard enabling Mammadova to equalise before half-time.

It was Julia O’Halloran who re-established Ireland’s lead after the break when she took advantage of a bouncing ball volleying it into the net.

The game ensued in end to end style both sides with chances and testing their opposing defences. Grey for Ireland was once again excellent in goals keeping the Irish defence composed.

Ireland were forced to soak up a considerable amount of pressure in the closing five minutes of the game, but they displayed control and composure and wound the clock down to ensure they walked off the pitch with another victory and three points in the bag.

Ireland starting XV: Emma Gray; Michelle Harvey; Cliodhna Sargent; Emma Smyth; Emma Clarke; Alex Speers; Shirley McCay; Julia O’Halloran; Sinead McCarthy; Nikki Symmons; Nicci Daly.

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