Irish women’s hockey team make winning start to first-ever Olympic campaign

Ireland 2 South Africa 0 THE EMOTION THROUGH the anthem, the smiles, the glistening eyes. When the time finally came after all highs and lows, the ups and downs, and the long wait for a first-ever Olympic Games, the history-making Irish women’s hockey team were ready. Their incredible attitude shone through early on in their…

Irish women’s hockey team make winning start to first-ever Olympic campaign

Ireland 2

South Africa 0

THE FEELING THROUGH the anthem, the smiles, the glistening eyes. When the time lastly followed all low and high, the ups and downs, and the long haul for a first-ever Olympic Games, the history-making Irish ladies’s hockey group were prepared.

Their unbelievable mindset shone through at an early stage in their Swimming pool A opener versus South Africa in Tokyo, Sean Dancer’s side revealing they were truly up for it with their dominant, assertive play.

While their challengers began highly too and checked Ayeshia McFerran through the very first quarter, Ireland looked much sharper and were great worth for their 1-0 lead when Róisín Upton slotted house her 17 th worldwide strike with 9 minutes on the clock.

The Limerick female’s effective effort came off the back of a charge corner, her low drag into the bottom corner after great from Deirdre Duke making the 2018 World Cup silver medallists an essential advancement.

It was possibly fitting that Upton would end up being the very first Irishwoman to score an objective in hockey at the Olympics, provided she bagged the essential unexpected death stroke that sent out the Green Army there in the very first location.

Róisín Upton, who scored the abrupt death stroke that sent out Ireland to Tokyo – now ends up being the very first Irish lady ever to score an objective in #hockey at the Olympic Games. Some female for one female. #Tokyo2020 #TeamIreland pic.twitter.com/3edfPaRhVZ

— Elaine Buckley (@ElaineBucko) July 24, 2021

Material in the lead, Ireland got rid of the relentless humidity at the Oi Hockey Arena and played some truly pleasing two-touch hockey from there.

South Africa lost their recommendation with a not successful charge corner appeal in the 2nd corner, though absolutely nothing came of the resultant relocation. Clare female Naomi Carroll went agonisingly close from another quickly after, as Ireland plainly sealed their status as the much better side, though stopped working to capitalise on their supremacy when it concerned the scoreboard.

They produced chances, and shut South Africa out– Lena Tice in specific was enormous in defence– as play turned scrappy sometimes, however ball game stayed 1-0 at half time.

The 3rd quarter was give up a discouraging one for Ireland, prior to Torrans– in her first-ever world ranking match– made it 2-0 in the passing away seconds of it.

After a continual duration of pressure on the hunt for that necessary 2nd objective, the dam lastly broke, with the Dubliner in the ideal location at the correct time to masterfully snap house and settle the nerves.

— Group Ireland (@TeamIreland) July 24, 2021

South Africa goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande kept her side in the contest with a string of remarkable conserves, as a number of huge Ireland possibilities went abegging, from charge corners and in other places.

Their challengers were plainly surviving on scraps, though were enhanced by a number of events late on in the 3rd quarter. Ireland decreased a gamer briefly when Nikki Daly was revealed a permit, while they yielded a harmful charge corner with simply over 2 minutes to pursue a Torrans footblock.

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However Dancer’s side held their nerve and weathered the storm, prior to stepping up to score their 2nd objective and additional deflate South Africa.

The strength dropped in the last quarter, though McFerran was on hand to keep a tidy sheet and guarantee Ireland delighted in a brilliant start, producing opportunities right to the death though their execution might be an issue.

Successive, Ireland deal with the all-conquering favourites, the Netherlands, on Monday, prior to satisfying Germany, India and Great Britain as the swimming pool phases warm up later on in the week.

Ireland: A McFerran, C Watkins, S Torrans, R Upton, H McLoughlin, D Duke, K Mullan, S Hawkshaw, L Tice, S McAuley, A O’Flanagan

Subs: H Matthews, N Daly, S McCay, N Carroll, L Holden

South Africa: P Mbande, C Seerane, N Walraven, K Paton, R Johnson, O Zulu, L-M Deetlefs, E Hunter, L du Plessis, Q Bobbs, T Glasby

Subs: E Molikoe, T Mallett, N Veto, C Maddocks, L Mahole

Umpires: E Yamada (JPN), K Hudson (NZL)

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