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Goal-shy Irish fail to find a way past Scots

By John Flack

Ireland had to settle for the runners up spot at the Celtic Cup yesterday after they fell to a 1-0 defeat against their Scottish hosts in Largs.

ON Saturday Ireland had opened with a 5-0 win over Wales in which Ulster girls Michelle Harvey, who got two, and Alex Speers were on target.

But the girls in green struggled to match that free-scoring display yesterday as they failed to make the most of their chances.

"It was obviously disappointing to lose the match but we created more scoring chances than in previous matches against them so I took a lot of positives out of today," said Irish coach Gene Muller.

Ireland were using the series, which concludes with a challenge game against the Scots today, as preparation for the upcoming European Nations Cup tournament.

That will double as an Olympic qualifier with the top three teams gaining an automatic place at the London 2012 showpiece.

Ireland had the bulk of the possession yesterday, winning six penalty corners to their opponents one, without being able to convert any.

Their best chance of the game fell to Lisa Jacob who picked up a stray ball from a broken down set-piece only to be denied by the woodwork.

Ireland were then made to pay for their missed opportunities when with five minutes left on the clock, the Scots won their only penalty corner of the game on 70 minutes.

Nicky Kidd's low drag flick finished in the net as the hosts sealed a hard-fought victory despite a late rally from the resilient and hard working Irish.

Belfast Telegraph


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