Ireland's women's hockey team lost out on a quarter-final place at the Europeans when they we beaten 3-0 by hosts Belgium in Boom.

Ireland started lively creating the first two attacks within the opening minute including a penalty corner but Audrey O'Flynn's drag skimmed wide. 

The visitors felt their first test on nine minutes when a bobbling ball forced Emma Gray to stretch to the right to keep the ball and Nikki Symmons had to be alert to block an effort from a penalty corner.

Belgium broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with another penalty corner. Anouk Raes took the ball out past the first Irish runner to blast the ball through the Irish defence and into the goal. 

Both sides secured two further penalty corners in the opening half but neither could make them count and Ireland went into the break trailing by a single goal.

Belgium started strongly in the second half securing the first of many penalty corners in the 41st minute but Gray proved to be stubborn in the Irish goal and once again managed to get a glove to the shot to keep Ireland within touching distance.

Charlotte De Vos continued to cause problems for the Irish defence but a solid and brave defensive corner team made it tough for the Belgians to convert.

Ireland had a golden opportunity to level the score when Anna O'Flanagan laid off to Alex Speers who, upon rounding the keeper was fouled giving Lisa Jacob the chance to step up and take the stroke.

Luck went against Ireland however and Jacob was denied by the post in what proved to be the turning point of the match.

Belgium doubled their lead with a penalty corner which De Scheemakere's smashed down the middle and to the net in the 56th minute.

The hosts them copper fastened their victory and place in the semi- finals in the 65th minute thanks to a goal from Coppey to make it 3-0.

Ireland team: Emma Gray; Alex Speers; Shirley McCay; Megan Frazer; Lisa Jacob; Nikki Symmons; Audrey O'Flynn; Chloe Watkins; Niamh Atcheler; Anna O'Flanagan; Gillian Pinder;

Reserves: Cliodhna Sargent; Emma Smyth; Niamh Small; Naomi Carroll; Nicola Gray; Grace O'Flanagan. Nicci Daly