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Losses have still been useful for Irish, says Mullan

Ireland 0 South Korea 1

Positive tint: Katie Mullan
Positive tint: Katie Mullan

By John Flack

Ireland's women fell to a 1-0 defeat against South Korea at the Three Nations tournament in Dublin last night as they continued their build-up to next month's Olympic qualifiers against Canada at Donnybrook.

It was their second consecutive loss after they went down 4-2 to Belgium, who won the tournament.

Six Ulster players were included in the Irish squad last night, with Belfast Harlequins midfielder Serena Barr missing out.

Pegasus defender Shirley McCay earned her 299th cap and is set to make it a triple-century in the first of two games against Germany next week.

Ireland captain Katie Mullan, while disappointed with the result, said the two games have been useful as they bid for a first ever Olympics appearance.

The Coleraine woman said: "We would have hoped for better results but it's been an invaluable exercise as we were playing on an identical surface to the one we will encounter at the qualifiers in Donnybrook."

Jun Geun Seo's 15th-minute penalty corner strike proved decisive.

Meanwhile, Annadale got their Kirk Cup campaign off to a winning start when they came from behind to beat North Down 2-1 at Comber Leisure Centre.

Phil Templeton gave the home team an early lead but Annadale responded with two penalty corner strikes converted by skipper Ryan Burgess in the second half.

Tomorrow, Lisnagarvey need just a point against Queen's to progress to the semi-finals.

Garvey will be expected to defeat the Ulster Premier League season side with some comfort.

Cookstown also need a point to advance to the last-four when they entertain Newry, who require a win.

FIXTURES: Tomorrow: Irish Hockey Challenge first round: North Kildare v Antrim (2.30pm). Kirk Cup: Pool A: Raphoe v South Antrim (2.30pm). Pool B: Bangor v Instonians (2.30pm). Pool C: Newry v Cookstown (2.45pm). Pool D: Portadown v Kilkeel (1pm); Queen's v Lisnagarvey (2.30pm). Linden Cup: Pool A: Civil Service v Saintfield (2.30pm); PSNI v Portrush (2.30pm). Pool B: Armagh v Belfast Harlequins (1pm); CI v Down (2.30pm).

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