Ireland's ladies were beaten by South Africa in the first game of the Tri Nations series.

The only goal of the game was scored from a penalty corner in the 6th minute, through a Pietie Coetzee trademark drag flick.

The first half did not see much goal mouth action with Ireland's best chance in the dying moments after a great cross from Emma Clarke just evaded the diving Connery.

Ireland came out of the traps fast after the break but South Africa's defence could not be penetrated. Ireland then conceded some soft penalty corners but each one was well defended.

Ireland had their first corner of the game in the 57th minute but Cliodhna Sargent's strike was well saved.

Ireland forced another penalty corner in the 61st minute but a mis-trap saw the chance go a-begging. A heavy downpour slowed down the pitch considerably in the final seven minutes, making conditions very difficult for both teams.

After the game Irish coach Gene Muller said: "We improved from last night's performance, we were defensively very good and created some quality chances. It was a tight and physcially demanding match"

Starting XI: Emma Gray (GK); Nikki Symmons, Cliodhna Sargent; Sinead McCarthy; Audrey O'Flynn; Emma Smyth; Emma Clarke; Lizzie Colvin; Lisa Jacob; Alex Speers; Sinead Connery

Reserves: Miriam Crowley; Chloe Watkins; Nicci Daly, Michelle Harvey, Shirley McCay

Non-Playing: Nicola Evans,Megan Frazer; Pamela Smithwick & Louisa Healy