The Irish senior women's team were beaten 4-3 by Scotland today in the second and final game of a two test series in Edinburgh.
The sides played out a 2-2 draw on Monday and today’s encounter was a similarly close fought affair with a better overall quality of play.
Ireland took the lead in the 15th minute when Niamh Atcheler latched on to a saved Audrey O’Flynn penalty corner to finish for close range.
Ireland could have doubled the lead minutes later when O’Flanagan shot was well saved by Gibson in the Scotland goal. Scotland squared things up in the 20th minute when Kidd fired home her 3rd penalty corner in two days.
Scotland edged themselves in front before the break as Bell nipped in to set up Clement who slotted home for the 2-1 half time advantage.
Ireland were back on level terms at 2-2 following Lisa Jacobs fantastic individual dribble and finish in the 43rd minute.
However, in a frantic four minute spell though, Scotland fired themselves into a 4-2 lead through first Bell with a powerful strike in the 50th minute and followed up by Cram who finished neatly with a reverse stick shot on 54 minutes.
Ireland weren’t finished yet though as within minutes Niamh Atcheler grabbed her second of the game from a Nicola Gray penalty corner to reduce the score line to one goal and set up a frantic finish.
Ireland piled on the pressure in the closing stages of the game, playing some free flowing exciting hockey and were unlucky to see Gillian Pinder’s powerful effort rebound off the goal post and away to safety.
Some late heroics from Gibson in the Scotland goal also denied Ireland the equaliser they craved and the hosts held on for the 4-3 win in an exciting game for spectators.
Speaking to hockey.ie following the match, Ireland coach Darren Smith said: "The two games have been invaluable for us to get together. We saw some new players in the international environment and doing some good work. Today’s game was offensively significantly better than yesterday’s especially in the second half."
Smith continued “We did however defend poorly at times and allowed Scotland too many easy opportunities which they punished us for. We need to take a more considered approach to our hockey and understand that the game is about poise, decision making and skill mixed in with pace.
"You must have but cannot rely on desperation, grit & passion to win games. Sometimes we are thoughtless and rush into what we are doing and the result is mostly negative. We are a work in progress though”
Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women Starting XI: Smithwick, Harvey, Duke, Speers, McCay, Pinder, Frazer, O’Flynn, Watkins, Gray, O’Flanagan
Subs: Smyth, Dillon, Jacob, Small, Carroll, Atcheler