South Africa level indoor series with Ireland in eight-goal thriller

Chloe Brown again impressed with two goals in Gormanston

Ireland 3 South Africa 5

South Africa levelled the Spar Indoor Hockey Series as they won an eight-goal cracker at Gormanston Park with Danielle de Oliveira and Eloise Walters firing home on the double.

For Ireland, they made a number of changes with Sally Campbell and Ellen Curran making their indoor international debuts with Orla Patton and Lily Lloyd coming into the side. Amy Benson, Katie Kimber, Sophie Barnwell and Orla Fox stepped out for this tie.

De Oliveira got the ball rolling in the seventh minute with a sweet penalty corner switch move, shooting home from the right of the D. Within four seconds, it was 2-0 with Kayla de Waal wriggling out of the right boards, pulling the ball around Millie Regan and flicking in on her backhand, a piece of class.

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Chloe Brown – the hero on day one – got one back early in the second quarter with a direct corner strike. But the visitors two-goal advantage was restored just before the break when they robbed possession twice deep in Irish territory and Walters slotted in at the second attempt.

Ireland got the second half off to a fast start with Brown the instigator, affecting a brilliant interception on the edge of her own circle. Her pass found Orla Macken whose shot was blocked the way of Sarah Patton who pushed in for 3-2.

The two-goal gap, though, was restored once more when Walters turned over on halfway and drove on, laying off a pass to De Oliveira who swept in another classy finish.

Just 30 seconds into the final quarter, Ireland were back within range when Lloyd got around the baseline to square to Patton for her second of the day, setting up another grandstand finish.

Ireland went close to nicking a result from a couple of corners but South Africa killed off the win in the 39th minute with the pick of the goals. Jessica O'Connor provided the power off the left board and Walters applied the perfect redirection to give Emma Buckley no chance.

The two sides meet again on day three of the series on Wednesday with the slightly changed time of 6pm, again at Gormanston Park.

IRELAND: M Regan, S Patton, M Power, C Brown, L Graham, O Patton

Subs: H Kelly, L Lloyd, O Macken, S Campbell, E Curran, E Buckley

SOUTH AFRICA: N Serage, D de Oliveira, E Molikoe, E Walters, J O'Connor, J Lardant

Subs: K de Waal, R Johnson, D van Taak, J Southgate, T Kock, C Swanepoel