Megan Frazer on mark but Ireland slip up in Glasgow
Ireland must beat Scotland today to tie the three-match series after falling to a 2-1 defeat in Glasgow yesterday following a 1-1 draw in Monday's opener.
Megan Frazer put Ireland in front with a terrific backhand shot in the 12th minute and the Ireland captain shot wide from a good position shortly afterwards before Nikki Evans had an effort cleared off the line.
Once again, Ireland's profligacy in front of goal was punished when Fiona Bruce deflected in the equaliser from a Nikki Kidd cross 13 minutes after the restart before Katie Robertson grabbed the winner five minutes later.
Assistant Ireland coach Arlene Boyles says the Scottish games are part of the healing process following the pain of Valencia when their chances of competing in the Rio Olympics went up in smoke.
"It's a good way to draw a line under the international season and we don't mention Valencia because even though we're now into October and it happened in June, it still hurts," she said.
"The men's qualification for Rio was just incredible but it's a shame that both teams aren't going to Brazil."
Later this week, Boyles will switch her focus to coaching Pegasus in their IHL game against Cork Harlequins, which she expects to be a tough test.
But her squad won't lack confidence after a devastating display in beating North Down 13-0 in the Irish Cup at the weekend, despite having only one point out of a possible nine in the IHL.
"What the tie allowed was for us to play at a high intensity and see if the opposition could keep up with us," she added.
"They did for a short period and then we put our stamp on the game and I'd have been disappointed if we hadn't done that.
"Cork will be a tougher proposition and they have several internationals past and present, but it's time for us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.
"The fact is we have one point when we'd like to have had nine after three games, so every game is now a must-win for us, starting in Cork on Saturday."
Leaders Ulster Elks will be out to avenge a 4-1 defeat by UCD in the Irish inter-varsities final when they travel to Dublin while Ards, who are fourth in the table, host unbeaten Railway Union.
Ards captain Caroline Adams said: "We are really looking forward to getting back into action after three weeks off but we don't know what to expect from Railway as we haven't played them for three seasons.
"But we expect them to play with pace and intensity so it's going to be a really tough game for us, I am sure."