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Dancer takes step in the right direction


Deirdre Duke
Deirdre Duke

By John Flack

Irelands women made it two wins from two in their three-match series with Scotland yesterday when a late goal sealed a 1-0 victory at Stormont.

The result, which followed a 2-0 success on Saturday night, was a good start for new head Sean Dancer in his first games in charge.

The Australian was satisfied with Ireland's performances, with the final match of the series scheduled for tomorrow.

Dancer said: 'It would have been nice to have scored more goals but we were trying a few things out so I'm happy enough."

"You also have to give credit to Scotland, who were very well organised and defended well."

Ireland got the breakthrough in the 54th minute when Deirdre Duke volleyed the ball home after Anna O'Flanagan cross had taken a deflection off a defender.

It was also a good day for Ireland's Under 21 men, who defeated Belarus 3-1 as they opened their European Championship second-tier campaign in the Czech Republic with goals from Ulster pair Callum Robson and Matthew Crookshanks along with Conor Empey.

On Saturday, Ireland's under 21 women fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Russia in their top-flight bid in Valencia.

Results: yesterday: women: senior international: Ireland 1 (D Duke) Scotland 0; Six Nations(Eindhoven): Ireland U16 1 (S Dix) Netherlands U15 3; Ireland U18 0 England U18 2;

Saturday: senior international: Ireland 2 (D Duke, L Colvin) Scotland 0; European U21 Championship (Valencia): Pool A: Ireland 0 Russia 1; Spain 3 France 1;

Today: European U21 Championship: Ireland v Netherlands (7pm); Six Nations: Ireland U16 v Netherlands U16(11.40am); Ireland U18 v Netherlands U18 (1pm).

Men: yesterday: European U21 Championship (Litice); Pool A: Ireland 3 (C Empey, C Robson, M Crookshanks) Belarus1; Czech Rep 1 Turkey 3;Six Nations: Ireland U16 5 (M Anderson, E Rowe 2, M Collins, R Treacy) Poland U16 1; Ireland U18 0 England U18 4; Today: Ireland U16 v Netherlands (3.20pm); Ireland U18 v Netherlands (5.40pm).

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