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Ireland's women are still in Euro promotion frame

 

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The Ireland indoor women's team had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the European Championship in Bratislava. (stock photo)

The Ireland indoor women's team had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the European Championship in Bratislava. (stock photo)

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The Ireland indoor women's team had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the European Championship in Bratislava. (stock photo)

The Ireland indoor women's team had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the European Championship in Bratislava.

They opened with an impressive 5-0 win over Portugal but then fell to a 5-1 defeat against gold medal favourites Spain.

The Spanish, like Ireland competing in their first Euros for many years at indoor level, led 3-0 at half-time and added two more goals before Orla Patton's late consolation.

However, Ireland are still in contention for promotion to the second tier as they prepare to face hosts Slovakia (11.30am) and Denmark (4.15pm) today.

They complete their schedule tomorrow against Finland (7.15am) and Slovenia (11am), needing a top-two finish in the round robin event to go up to the next level in two years.

In the opening win over Portugal, Ireland vice-captain Chloe Brown, one of a quartet of Ulster players in the squad, scored twice in the first 13 minutes from identical penalty corner routines.

Sarah Patton made it 3-0 before the break, the UCD player finishing clinically.

Amy Benson added number four a minute from the restart after her Ards team-mate Caroline Adams had swapped passes with Brown to provide the chance.

Sophie Barnwell wrapped things up on the half-hour when she slotted the ball home from close range as Ireland celebrated their return to the Euros in style after 28 years in the international wilderness.

Belfast Telegraph