Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Full-time: Ireland 1 Spain 4

Irish crowd - made up of, I believe, a touring Loreto, Dalkey contingent - still in good voice despite some taunts that they were not singing anymore. A decent first half was undone by a poor third quarter. An innovative move from Gene Muller, subbing off Mary Goode for an extra outfielder almost drew dividends but in the end Spain picked up a one-sided scoreline that belied the balance of play.

Ireland now need to beat Azerbaijan and Russia to keep their 'A division' status in tact.

Full report, photos and quotes to appear on www.hookhockey.blogspot.com in the coming hours....

66 minutes

Spain 4 Ireland 1 - Pineiro lifts ball into Michelle Harvey, deemed a penalty corner and Bridget Cleland is unable to block Silvia Bonastre's thunderous strike.

63 minutes

Slight internet breakdown -

Switch to Symmons and had great chance to pull one back but well-saved, Emma Clarke fresh-aired follow-up.

62 minutes

Emma Clarke flies in down the right win and crosses for Jacob, her deflection does not carry enough weight but the ball gest stuck in Rosa's pads. PC 5 for Ireland

59 minutes

Cregan's shot is too high from the corner and a free out is given. Ireland camped in Spain territory

58 minutes

It pays instant dividends as Speers wins Ireland's fifth corner.

57 minutes

Bizarre scenes; seems Mary Goode has been subbed off and Cliodhna Sargent has gone in as a kicking back; no movement on the bench to suggest one of the players is going to put on some pads so must be tactical for one last shot at World Cup qualification.

56 minutes

Spain 3 Ireland 1 - corner switched back to the pusher-out Ester Termens by Silvia Bonastre. No one at home and Termens is left with a simple finish to make it 3-1. Game slipping away from Ireland.

55 minutes

Symmons give the ball away tamely inside 25 and McCay forced to take desperate measures and concedes corner with dving tackle

54 minutes

Speers through-ball too long. Rosa jumps over it and it skims the post. Jacob following up would have had the simplest of finishes were it to have made a fuller contact.

52 minutes

Symmons poised, but pull-out not stopped. McCay improvises to switch right to Symmons who sweeps first time across goal. Ball breaks to McKean from close range who clatters off Rosa. The umpire has blown for a push, though.

50 minutes

McCay ok to carry on. Ireland slowing the tempo to regain their foothold in this game. Jacob's trickery wins a penalty corner.

49 minutes

Spain camped in Ireland's leftr corner, though a high ball from about a yard away leaves McCay in some distress. Lots of mistakes along those lines in the game to date.

47 minutes

High ball out od defence cracks Pilar Sanchez' knee but the centre-back is good to continue

45 minutes

Spain 2 Ireland 1 - a bolt from the blue, a long ball from defence finds Silvia Munoz in space, she wins a free on the circle's edge and Olalla Pineiro self-passes, turns Sargent inside-out and crashes a superb reverse-stick effort into the top left corner from the right side of the circle.

Spain definitely in the ascendancy as Ireland struggle to get out of own half

43 minutes

Slight break in play as Mary Goode requires treatment, not sure what for as yet as ball was nowhere near. Quick shot of the Irish contingent on the big screen and we're back in actio with a Spanish long corner.

41 minutes

Corner pushed out a bit slow, makling Symmons' drag flick a bit slow and easily cleared. Irish crowd still in great voice, most concerted singing effort from the 17 games thus far in the competition, plenty seem ot have arrived since the weekend...

40th minute

Cathy McKean barrels through three tackles from halfway feeds Cregan in the 25 and she's scythed down inside the dotted line for Ireland's second penalty corner.

37 minutes

Spain start the half stronger, a couple of frees in the Irish 25 but unable to penetrate the circle and a lengthy clearance finds Jacob in the left corner for an Irish attack.

Image of the half: Sargent celebrates

Back in action in the second half

Half-time: Ireland 1 Spain 1

Ireland have battled well in the first half, opening up a lot more than their previous games and showing real menace going forward with a couple of good half chances from play and scoring their only corner.

At the other end, Spain have not really had a shot in anger from play and are content to play for corners. They've shaded possession but Ireland are very much alive in this game.

35 minutes

A repeat corner on the hooter with all 10 Spanish out-fielders around the circle. Gloria Comerma strikes low, Goode saves and Sargent, who has been a revelation this half ensures the sides are level at the break.

35 minutes

Top save from a straight hit by Mary Goode, clearance comes up into attacker's chest so pc5

34 minutes

Julia Menendez gets to a ball in first to deflect onto Emma Clarke's foot and win pc4 for Spain.

32 minutes

Shirley McCay this time gets the vital intervention, all Spanish attacks coming down the right-flank; Ester Termens this time blocked by Symmons.

30 minutes

Ireland revert to half-press and it works well with Speers and Megan Frazer combining to win the ball on halfway and set a good attacking position. Ireland look more dnagerous from play but need to reduce the corner count.

Superb sliding tackle from Frazer.

29 minutes

Attack breaks down and Spain have the ball deep in Irish territory, a mishit cross gives both sides a chance to breathe .

28 minutes

Corner reset, as hit Irish foot; second effort read well by McCay and quick break on with Speers with three on three.

27 minutes

Penalty corner 3 for Spain, Maria Cruz' weak shot clipped Cleland's foot

26 minutes

Cathy McKean reverse stick shot well blocked by her marker.

25 minutes

Irish fans asked to "take their seats" by the stadium announcer for "their own safety"!

24 minutes

Cregan pick-pockets Pilar Sanchez 30 metres out, beats the last defender and hits from the right of the circle. Rosa saves well.

23 minutes

Jacob dissects Spanish defence to win a 5-metre free on the circle's edge. The pass goes to Colvin whose one-handed reverse-stick effort is deflected into the side-board by Cathy McKean though the angle was probably too tight to test Maria Rosa.

22 minutes

Stewart robbed at right back but Cleland recovers the situation with block-busting low tackle, vital intervention.

21 minutes

Symmons back from her sin-binning and battling away in midfield. Cleland produces a superb last ditch tackle to deny Silvia Bonastre

20 minutes

The chant of 'c'mon on you girls in green' reverberates around the covered terrace at the Wagener Stadium.

17 minutes

Ireland 1 Spain 1 - Sargent's first strike clatters the post and rebounds onto the defender's foot on the line and bounces back into the net. A touch lucky but Ireland won't mind. The stadium announcer credits the goal to Scotland bizarrely.

16 minutes

Lightning Irish break-out and Alex Speers wins Ireland's first corner, slow start has been replaced by lively match


Yellow crad - Nikki Symmons for five minutes for reasons not yet clear to the press box. Silvia Bonastre wins a second penalty corner for Spain but the shot is weak and easily cleared.

12 minutes

Spain 1 Ireland 0 - Maria Cruz guides home a sweep shot at the corner from Julia Menendez at the right post. Disaster start for Ireland from Spain's first major attack.

Slight disscussion between umpires but goal stands.

12 minutes

Spain respond with concerted attack down right. Thrid wave, they win a corner with Nuria Camon finding Nikki Symmons foot for games first penalty corner.

9 minutes

Eimear Cregan sets up first meaningful attack and Lisa Jacob bursts into circle on right baseline but is well shepherded out of play.

8 minutes

Hints of breakaway opportunities as McKean and Symmons steal on halfway but first pass goes awry. McKean takes a nasty ball to the head but looks fine to continue.


Still nothing to report by way of goal-mouth action, neither side has broken the opposition 25 metre line with the ball to date. Some good tackles from Cleland and Barr keep it that way.

3 minutes

Cagey start, ball largely in Irish possession but between their own 25 and halfway

Starting line-ups

Welcome to the Hook's first ever minute-by-minute match-tracker. The pouring rain of 15 minutes ago has all but gone and a sizable Irish crowd is making their presence known.

Roisin Flinn and Emma Gray are in the stands for the Irish team with Cliodhna Sargent straight back into the starting line-up.

Spanish markswoman Raquel Huertas sits out the game due to injury.

Ireland: M Goode, C Sargent, E Cregan (capt), E Clarke, B Cleland, S McCay, C McKean, N Symmons, E Smyth, L Jacob, L Barr
Subs: E Stewart, A Speers, L Colvin, M Frazer, M Harvey

Spain: M Rosa, J Menendez, R Ybarra, M Cruz, S Munoz, S Bonastre, R Gutierrez, P Sanchez, N Camon (capt), E Termens, G Comerma
Subs: P Banbanch, A Flores, O Pineiero, L Domenech, M Fabregas

Ireland vs Spain: Minute-by-minute updates