The Electric Ireland Irish Women’s team were beaten 3-2 by Canada at a wet & windy UCD today as Irish International Nikki Symmons earned her 200th cap for the Green Army. It is a phenomenal achievement for the Loreto Hockey Club player who was presented to the crowd at the National Hockey Stadium before taking the field to become the first Irish Hockey International to reach 200 caps for their country. Today also saw a 1st cap for Ireland’s Emily Beatty and a 50th Cap for Nicci Daly.
Ireland’s performance on the pitch however did not match the occasion and a sluggish start to the game saw Emma Gray in the Ireland goal called into action early as Canada created the best of the early chances before taking a deserved 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Ireland fought back well though and equalised through a well-executed Audrey O’Flynn penalty corner.
The teams headed for the break all-square but it took less than 6 minutes for Canada to regain the lead. That lead was extended further to 3-1 mid-way through the 2nd half and Ireland were left with an uphill task to come back into the game.
To their credit Darren Smith’s side kept plugging away at the resolute Canadian defence and finally opened them up following great play by Pinder who set up Mullan to expertly to slide the ball home with less than 10 minutes to play.
Ireland hustled and harried their North American opposition in an effort to draw level but were unable to find the goal they desperately sought.
Speaking to hockey.ie after the game Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women’s Coach Darren Smith said “We didn’t have a good day today. We were well below our potential. I thought we lacked a little bit of courage in some of the options we took and lacked composure in certain situations. We were a bit anxious and rushed at times and that has caused us a few problems today”
Ireland’s now 200th capped player, Nikki Symmons told us “It was a huge honour to receive my 200th cap in front of our home fans and was great to see so many familiar faces here at UCD. It was just disappointing though that we didn’t play particularly well as a team today. We need to regroup and come back stronger tomorrow to try to get the win”
The Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women will play the 2nd of their test series vs Canada at UCD tomorrow at 2:30pm