Hockey: Ireland comeback ruined as Spain score at the death
Irish squad fail to hold on to victory over Spaniards in second Test match in Granada
Ireland’s Hannah Matthews in action in last year’s World Cup. Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho
Ireland were denied victory by Spain in the last play in their second Test match in Granada this week, denying them a famous comeback.
The hosts burst into a 2-0 lead in the first 11 minutes with Clara Ycart and Alejandra Torres-Quevedo both scoring set piece goals in quick succession.
Anna O’Flanagan got one back before half-time with a clever deflection move from Hannah Matthews’ assist and Ireland were level four minutes after the break. Skipper Katie Mullan got it, trapping overhead from Sarah Hawkshaw’s high ball into the circle, finishing off at the second attempt.
Matthews put Ireland in front for the first time with seven minutes to go, her sweep at goal taking the direct route to the backboard despite several sticks attempting to get a touch.
But Spain forced some late pressure and won a penalty corner which Maria Lopez swept down the barrel into the net.
It was a more experienced side than lost 2-1 on Monday with 12 World Cup players involved with the six other players all holding under 20 caps.
The final match of this series takes place at 10am (Irish time) on Thursday morning in Granada.
IRELAND: E Buckley, Y O’Byrne, K Mullan, S McCay, B Barr, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, A Meeke. Subs: N Evans, L Tice, E Beatty, H McLoughlin, D Duke, L McGuire