Ireland bowed out of the women's hockey tournament at Tokyo 2020 after a 2-0 defeat to Great Britain in their final Pool A clash.
Goals in each half from Susannah Townsend and Hannah Martin made the difference for the already-qualified British as Sean Dancer's side missed out on a place in the quarter-finals after one win from their five opening stage matches.
Ireland went into the game on three points, earned by beating South Africa in their first game, and needed a win over GB to have any chance of progressing from Pool A after India secured a 4-3 victory over the South Africans earlier on Saturday to move into fourth place on six points.
The Irish side defended resolutely early on but suffered a blow on 18 minutes during the second quarter as Townsend scored from point blank range after reacting quickest from a post-penalty corner save from Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran.
After a period of pressure Susannah Townsend gets Great Britain's opening goal after a penalty corner— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 31, 2021
Ireland 0-1 Great Britain#olympics #Tokyo2020 #RTESport #hockey
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Team GB effectively ended the contest on 32 minutes as they doubled their lead through Martin.
The result means Ireland finished fifth in Pool A on three points, while pool winners Netherlands advance to the quarter-finals alongside Germany, Great Britain and India.
They will be joined in the last-eight by Pool B teams Australia, Spain, Argentina and New Zealand.
Speaking after the game, Hannah McLoughlin vowed that Ireland would aim to return at the next Olympics in Paris and push on further.
"It is raw emotion," she said.
"Firstly not getting to the quarter-finals which I think we were more than capable of. Secondly, knowing this is probably a few of our players last games. It is not the send-off any of us wanted to give them.
"But we have broken the ceiling, coming to the Olympics and for those of us fortunate enough to keep going, we want to push on for Paris and then go for quarters and semis."
Head coach Dancer added: "Those girls should be very proud of the performances they put in and what they have achieved. There will be a few tears and some celebrations over the next few weeks when they get a chance."
Ireland: A McFerran, S McAuley, S McCay, R Upton, L Tice, C Watkins, K Mullan, A O'Flanagan, S Hawkshaw, D Duke, S Torrans
Subs: H McLoughlin, H Matthews, L Holden, Z Malseed, N Daly
Great Britain: M Hinch, L Unsworth, A Toman, S Jones, S Townsend, S Robertson, E Rayer, G Ansley, H Pearne-Webb, S McCallin, L Owsley
Subs: H Martin, I Petter, L Wilkinson, F Crackles, G Balsdon.
Follow all the action from Tokyo 2020 with our 24-hour coverage on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player and listen to updates and live commentaries on RTÉ Radio.
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