India and Ireland played their 3rd and final test this evening in front of a packed crowd who enjoyed basking in the evening sunshine as the match was drawn 2-2 with both the sides playing top class international hockey.
In three match series before FIH Champions Challenge 1, India won first two match by 3-1 and 2-1 at UCD Dublin. India is placed in Pool A of Champions Challenge 1 with Korea, Belgium and the host Scotland while Ireland in Pool B with USA, South Africa and Spain. India is scheduled to reach Glasgow (Scotland) on 21 April 2014.
Ireland showed their attacking intent early on drawing the first shot in the 4th minute. Just four minutes later Ireland were back attacking and this time on target with striker Anna O’Flanagan converting after great build up play from the back through to midfield before O’Flangan was set up to give her side the 1-0 lead.
The game ensued in an open fashion both sides attacking and displaying great skill, but India found their equaliser with just six minutes on the clock after lobbing the keeper on the second phase of the corner.
Both sides had chances with five minutes left on the clock but the break arrived with the sides level pegging at one a piece.
The teams came out in full flow for the second half both keen to attack with early shots from Naomi Carroll and Thokchom but to no avail. India went ahead in the 56th minute when Thokchom converted off the third phase of a penalty corner effort to make it 1-2.
Ireland had a golden chance after Michelle Harvey passed quickly to Audrey O’Flynn on the line who popped it onto Anna O’Flanagan whose super pass just popped over the oncoming Chloe Brown’s stick in front of an open goal.
Moments later Gillian Pinder and Ali Meeke combined to secure the all-important penalty corner for Ireland who converted thanks to Anna O’Flanagan and her second goal of the day.
India had a final chance at the end with a PC but Deepika’s shot went wide and Ireland closed out the game level at 2 all with the visitors. Ireland will no doubt be pleased with a fine team performance ahead of the Champions Challenge I tournament in Scotland next week.
Commenting after the test series Coach Darren Smith said “This has been an enjoyable and beneficial week together, we have steadily improved and we are now looking forward to getting over to Scotland (Glasgow) for what will be a tough tournament, in Champions Challenge I”
He continued talking about tonight’s game “We started really well particularly with an excellent first 15 minutes, we had a patch where we were forced to cope with India dominating but we finished relatively well.”