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Mullan and Wilson happy to hit back with Ireland after tasting club defeat


Great build-up: Katie Mullan
Great build-up: Katie Mullan

By John Flack

Katie Mullan and Zoe Wilson took a break from Ireland's preparations for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers against Canada to switch to coaching roles with Ballymoney and Randalstown respectively on Saturday.

However, neither woman enjoyed the success they have had at international level as Money went down 4-1 to Ards and Town lost 4-0 to Queen's University in the Ulster Premier League.

Ards, who were relegated from the Irish Hockey League season, Queen's and champions Lurgan remain the only teams with a 100% record.

Lurgan defeated Dungannon 1-0 as all three contenders won away from home with Mossley beating Rainey 5-1 and Lisnagarvey overcoming Banbridge 2-0 in the other games.

For Mullan and Wilson, they were at least able to reflect more positively on a 2-0 series win over China in Dublin before reverting to club duty.

Ireland won the opening game 4-2 in which Wilson earned her 100th cap before Anna O'Flanagan's goal sealed a 1-0 victory in the second encounter.

Team captain Mullan said: "It was excellent preparation as China play very quick hockey and swarm the ball a lot so we didn't have time to think on the ball, so it is really positive to come out with clean sheets in the second game and in a 0-0 draw in the uncapped match beforehand.

"To score four goals on the first day is really positive as well. We are ticking along nicely now. The new style of hockey we are playing is proving promising so we are delighted."

"We are training harder than we ever have before and are fitter than ever. That's showing in the way we play and it is a really enjoyable style. It suits us and suits our physique."

Wilson, meanwhile, was overjoyed at completing a century of caps at the age of just 22, making her the second youngest member of the Ireland squad, behind fellow defender Lena Tice, who also reached the same milestone in the second game against China.

Wilson said: "It's a real privilege to have played 100 times for Ireland at such a young age."

Results: Ulster Premier League: Ballymoney 1 (K Boyd) Ards 4 (H Platt, A Benson, A Scott, Z Malseed); Dungannon 0 Lurgan 1 (L McNeill); Lisnagarvey 2 (L Murray, E Brown) Banbridge 0; Randalstown 0 Queen's 4 (C Whiteside, J McMaster, E Getty, T Hastings); Mossley 5 (D Axon 2, L Campbell, K Lorimer, N McMillan) Rainey 1. Senior Cup: Pool A: Ballymena 2 (C Gillespie, E King) Portadown 0; Priorians 3 (S Black, J Kennedy, B O'Neill) CI 1. Pool B: Club KV 1 (J Doak) Omagh 3 (K Ballentine, E Shortt); North Down 2 (R Murphy, L Brown) Dromore 1. Irish Senior Cup first round: Catholic Institute 4 UCD 7; Glenanne 2 Old Alex 6; Pembroke 5 Cork Harlequins 1.

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