/ Hockey

Ireland 5-0 Mexico

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 17:44

Audrey O'Flynn was on target again for Ireland
Audrey O'Flynn was on target again for Ireland

The Electric Ireland Irish women's team made it three wins from three as they defeated Mexico by 5-0 at the Athlon Car Lease FIH Road to London.

The Irish girls took a long time to break down the Mexican defence and it was scoreless at half time.

But patience was the key, and in the end Ireland scored five second-half goals through Audrey O'Flynn (2), Emma Smyth (2) and Cliodhna Sargent to leave them top of the pool after three games.

The first half was totally dominated by Ireland with all the territory and they won four penalty corners but the Mexican keeper was having a great day, keeping out all Irish attacks.

Ireland started the second half with more speed and aggression and Aine Connery almost gave Ireland the lead with a great deflection but again the Mexican keeper Castillo pulled off a top class save.

The first goal from Ireland came from their fifth penalty corner in the 44th minute, courtesy of another through Audrey O’Flynn drag flick, her fourth of the tournament.

Ireland continued to dominate but could not find a way through. In the 59th minute Correa got her marching orders when she received a ten minute yellow card for a heavy challenge on Emma Clarke and at the same time the Mexicans substituted their keeper.

In the remaining 11 minutes Ireland scored four goals – the first of them in the 60th minute when Nici Daly earned a free just outside the circle and, after a goalmouth, scramble Emma Smyth reversed into the net from six yards to give Ireland breathing space and a two-goal lead.

In the 64th minute, after good work by Speers earning Ireland a penalty corner, O’Flynn made it 3-0 when her initial drag was saved but she buried the rebound.

Smyth got her second from a second-phase penalty corner two minutes later and in the final minute of the game Cliodhna Sargent made it 5-0 from open play.

This was a memorable day for one player in particular, Nicola Symmons, who became the most capped Irish player of all time winning her 172nd cap for her country – the record had previously been held by Eimear Cregan.

After the game Irish coach Gene Muller said "It was generally a frustrating match for us we found it hard to create goal scoring chances in the first half but we were more fluid and clinical in the second half. There are only three teams left that can win the tournament and our next two games against Spain are critically important.”

Ireland play top seeds Spain on Thursday at 3.30 (Irish time)

Starting XI: Pamela Smithwick, Nicola Symmons, Cliodhna Sargent, Sinead McCarthy, Audrey O Flynn, Emma Smyth, Lizzie Colvin, Emma Clarke, Alex Speers, Aine Connery, Nicola Evans.
Subs: Michelle Harvey, Shirley McCay, Nicola Daly, Chloe Watkins, Lisa Jacob.