Ireland beat France 3-0 in their first training game in Beerschot, Belgium where they will play the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in three weeks’ time.
The match was a final chance for manager Gene Muller to see the players in action before he announces his squad on 1 March.
Lisa Jacob captained the squad on her 100th appearance for Ireland and she forced the first corner of the game in just the fourth minute. The opportunity was lost but it wasn’t long before Ireland took the lead. On 11 minutes Nicola Evans finished with a reverse-stick strike.
Lizzie Colvin was dominant in midfield and persistently drove Ireland forward. She won Ireland’s second corner in the 29th minute but this time Cliodhna Sargent’s strike was off target, leaving her side just a single goal to the good at half-time.
Right from the restart Jacob made a good run down the right but the French goalkeeper intercepted her attempted pass to Crowley. It took until the 43rd minute for France to win their first corner but it was squandered.
Ireland doubled their tally when, in the 48th minute, Miriam Crowley finished coolly after good link up play between Smyth and Niamh Small.
Just a couple of minutes later the scoring was complete as Audrey O'Flynn’s initial effort was saved but Smyth put the rebound high and beyond the keeper’s glove.
Ireland created enough opportunities to win by more but overall it was a convincing performance and one that’s sure to have pleased Muller. Ireland will play France again tomorrow at 12.30, and on Monday at 11.30.