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Record-breaking Holland too strong for Ireland in Hockey World Cup final

Holland are world champions for the eighth time.

Ireland’s first Hockey World Cup final ended in defeat as favourites Holland retained their title with an emphatic 6-0 victory in London.

The Irish team, the second lowest ranked country in the competition, upset the odds to reach the last two but were unable to produce a fairy-tale ending at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre.

Goals from Lidewij Welten, Kelly Jonker, Kitty van Male, Malou Pheninckx, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker capped a dominant performance from the Dutch as they won the competition for a record eighth time.

Graham Shaw’s underdogs began brightly but did not manage a shot at goal until the final quarter and the tournament favourites – who lifted the trophy on home soil four years ago – soon showed their superiority.

Welten put Alyson Annan’s team ahead in the seventh minute, turning to hit a powerful shot through a crowded circle and past Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran at the near post.

Jonker found the bottom-left corner to double the lead in the 19th minute, while superb blocks from Irish pair Shirley McCay and Roisin Upton following penalty corners prevented further goals.

The free-scoring Dutch, who registered 29 goals in five matches to reach the final, put the result beyond doubt with two quickfire goals in the final stages of the second period.

Tournament top scorer Van Male smashed in her eighth of the competition from close range and, moments later, Pheninckx was allowed too much space to fire the ball high into the net.

Shaw called for his players to “be proud” at half-time but they were outclassed by the world’s top-ranked team and powerless to stop Keetels tapping home a fifth and Van Maasakker adding another from a penalty corner.

Earlier on Sunday, Spain beat Australia 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

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