Satisfying weekend for Ireland women as they rout Scotland twice

Sean Dancer’s side put nine goals past Euros opponents across two Test matches

Katie Mullan attacks during Ireland’s win over Scotland in Belfast on Saturday. Photograph: Adrian Boehm

Katie Mullan attacks during Ireland’s win over Scotland in Belfast on Saturday. Photograph: Adrian Boehm

 

Two wins over Scotland has the Irish senior women’s side ticking along nicely ahead of formal European Championship selection on Thursday. Ireland dismissed the Scots, who they will meet in June in the Euros group stages, 5-1 on Saturday and 4-1 on Sunday although both sides will hope to have augmented squads when the European Championships come around.

Irish coach Sean Dancer has a couple of injury issues he hopes will clear up. Lena Tice, Sarah Torrans and Hannah Matthews all sat out this series while Megan Frazer’s comeback saw her play in the second tie.

Both games followed a similar pattern with Ireland going three goals up before Scotland pegged it back to 3-1 at half-time.

On Saturday, Deirdre Duke’s powerful shot, a Roisin Upton drag-flick and Zara Malseed’s sharp steal and strike did the damage. Fiona Burnet got one back but close range finishes in the second half from Michelle Carey and Nikki Evans closed out the win.

A day later, Evans and Malseed got the ball rolling with Sarah Hawkshaw adding a third. Fiona Semples cut the gap but Anna O’Flanagan’s goal concluded the weekend’s work.

Ireland will name their European Championships selection on Thursday but will anticipate a much stronger challenge from the Scots next month. They will be able to welcome back Sarah Robertson, Charlotte Watson and Amy Costello who were unavailable this weekend due to Great Britain Pro League duty.

“It’s good to get a chance to play against quality opposition and build a bit of confidence, have some time on the ball as well,” said Irish defender Shirley McKay.

“We’re building nicely and the thing is everyone is in the same place. We have done our best to do what we can with what we have. The morale and camaraderie in the squad is really high; we have a couple of niggles but that will be the same for every squad in the next couple of months.”

Women’s Senior international Test matches

Saturday: Ireland 5 (D Duke, R Upton, Z Malseed, M Carey, N Evans) Scotland 1 (F Burnet)

Sunday: Ireland 4 (N Evans, Z Malseed, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan) Scotland 1 (F Semples)

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