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Belfast solicitor Lizzie out to help Ireland secure World Cup quarter-final spot


By Graham Hamilton

Ireland have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals if they can beat India in their second pool game in London this afternoon (2.00pm).

Last night's 1-1 draw between hosts England and the USA means the Green Army are still top of the pool after their shock win over the USA, so Graham Shaw's girls have an added incentive to make it to the last eight against all the odds.

A draw would almost certainly put them into a play-off for a quarter-final place whereas defeat would leave their fate in the hands of Saturday's game against old rivals England.

Lizzie Colvin, one of six Ulster girls in the squad, rarely gets on the scoresheet but she'll never forget the last of her five international goals as it took Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years.

Now she has a new fan club at Belfast law firm DWF where she works as a solicitor, having moved back home after seven years with Dublin side Loreto.

The Belfast Harlequins midfielder scored a dramatic last-gasp penalty corner winner as Ireland came from behind to defeat India 2-1 at the qualifying tournament in Johannesburg.

Colvin, who has been capped 161 times, will be hoping for a similar result when Ireland take on the same opponents a year on.

However, Colvin is fully aware that Ireland will again have to punch above their weight if they are to get the desired result against an Indian side who held England to a 1-1 draw in their opening Pool B match.

Colvin said: "It was absolutely amazing to score the winner against them last time, and I felt honoured to have got the goal, but it was an amazing team performance.

"So it's great to look back on such fond memories, but now we're really looking forward to having another crack at them.

"India had some good performances at this year's Commonwealth Games and I think that they took a lot of confidence from that and played really well against England."

However, Colvin says there is a positive mood in the Irish camp ahead of the game in the aftermath of the epic win over the Americans, who are ranked seventh in the world, nine places higher than Ireland.

The 28-year-old added: "We knew that if we executed the game plan, stayed composed on the ball, really went for it and, most importantly, played with freedom, we could get a result against them."

Colvin, a former Armagh player, says she is extremely grateful to her employers for their understanding of the commitments that come with being an international hockey player.

She explained: "In the build-up to the World Cup we were training five times a week, which made life very busy, but my colleagues at DWF have been brilliant, supporting and helping me so I could balance work and practice.

"My boss Ken Rutherford, who played hockey for Holywood in '87, and the rest of the team have been so supportive and allowed me to achieve a lifetime dream.

"I think we've got a few more hockey fans in the office now!"

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