/ Hockey

Ireland 2-2 South Africa

Updated: Thursday, 15 Dec 2011 10:04

Aine Connery opened the scoring for Ireland
Aine Connery opened the scoring for Ireland

Ireland women played their first match in the second of the two Four Nations in Parana, Argentina, this evening.

Ireland got off to the perfect start by opening the scoring in the second minute when Aine Connery scored from play after an initial drive by Alex Speers down the left.

Ireland dominated the half. After a typical Shirley McCay 70-yard solo run, she was fouled in the circle and a penalty corner was awarded. Cliodhna Sargent's strike was well saved by South Africa's keeper.

South Africa came out the stronger at the start of the second half and were awarded three quick penalty corners. They scored from the third one in the 42nd minute, giving keeper Emma Gray no chance.

Ireland did not take long to go back in front, when just five minutes later captain Alex Speers scored from a penalty corner to put Ireland 2-1 up.

Michelle Harvey's initial drag was saved, but Speers was on hand to force the rebound home.

Ireland, driven on by the Loreto midfield pairing of Lizzie Colvin and Niamh Small, and with Aine Connery causing havoc up front, were unlucky not to extend their lead.

South Africa drew level once more from a very harshly awarded penalty corner in the 53rd minute. The Hermes keeper Gray saved the initial shot but South Africa forced the ball home from the rebound.

Ireland pushed for the winner, but could not break through and had to settle for a draw - a result South Africa will be happier with as Ireland deserved all three points.

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