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Roisin's winner seals an Irish clean sweep over South Africa

 

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Hitting back: Ireland’s Hannah Matthews hit the equaliser

Hitting back: Ireland’s Hannah Matthews hit the equaliser

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Hitting back: Ireland’s Hannah Matthews hit the equaliser

Ireland's women completed a 3-0 series win over South Africa last night when they defeated their hosts 2-1 in Stellenbosch.

In their four games to date on the warm-weather training camp, which is part of their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, Sean Dancer's team have lost only once.

Tonight, they will have a chance to avenge Saturday's 4-0 defeat by Germany as they round off their two-week trip to the sun.

However, that will be a step up in class as South Africa are ranked 16th in the world, eight places lower than Ireland, while the Germans are fourth on the global list.

Ireland face both teams in the group stages of the Olympics, and their series win over South Africa will instil confidence in the squad that they can repeat their success when they meet again in Tokyo.

South Africa went ahead in the 14th minute when Nomnikelo Veto beat Irish keeper Liz Murphy, who was deputising for Ayeisha McFerran, who could win her 100th cap tonight against the Germans.

Nine minutes later, Hannah Matthews equalised when she slotted home a second-phase penalty corner at the near post.

Gillian Pinder, a late replacement for the injured Belfast Harlequins player Bethany Barr, went close to making it 2-1 when her backhand shot was well saved on the stroke of half-time.

Ireland dominated possession, forcing several penalty corners, and Roisin Upton fired home the winner in the 42nd minute.

Meanwhile, the line-up for the semi-finals of the Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup was completed yesterday when Friends' defeated Methodist College 3-1 in a shoot-out after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Deramore.

Sarah Sandford and Darcy McGall scored for the Lisburn team on either side of Anna Pim's equaliser to make it 2-1 at the break.

Ella Armstrong levelled 17 seconds into the second half with a fine solo effort, and then Friends' keeper Cara McEwen was the hero in the shoot-out saving three of Methody's one-on-ones.

Friends' will be joined in the draw for the last-four by holders Banbridge Academy, Omagh Academy and BRA.

Belfast Telegraph