Friday, April 19, 2024

EuroHockey 2021: Ireland set for Home Nations tussle with Scotland

Debutant Hannah McLoughlin says there was enough in the Irish performance against Holland to carry into their vital group game against Scotland on Monday. 

While waiting for that game, you can also watch other hockey games on Hockey-VM stream and try your luck by placing a few bets.

“We’re 18 extremely competitive people so none of us will walk away being 100 per cent happy with that scoreline,” the defender said as her side looks to bounce back and get back in the frame for a semi-final spot after losing to the world No 1 side.

“After the initial emotions go away and we look back, there’s an awful lot of positives to take. Couple that with working on a few things that we didn’t do quite how we wanted, I think it will be a really exciting tournament for us.” 

For McLoughlin, a graduate of Avoca and Loreto HC, Saturday’s tie was a first senior international tournament appearance and the latest step in a meteoric rise to prominence.  

“As cliché as it sounds, it’s been surreal; it’s the only word for it,” McLoughlin said. “I don’t want this experience to pass me by. I am with an amazing group of friends, doing what I love and all 18 of us have worked extremely hard and all deserve to be here. 

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. I have never played in front of a crowd that big and a home tournament for the Dutch – you have to hit the ground running!” 

Hannah McLoughlin, Clodagh Cassin and Elena Tice overlooking the UCD Hockey Satdium.

The difference in opponent is stark between day one and two; from meeting the world standard bearers they now meet the world number 22 who are the lowest ranked of the eight teams in Amsterdam this week. 

That rating, though, is often a false perspective as the Scots can only pick up a miniscule amount of ranking points in Olympic cycles as the minor party in Great Britain’s Olympic line-up. 

It also means little can be drawn from the Green Army’s 4-1 and 5-1 victories over the Scots in Belfast last month. Three GB players – Charlotte Watson, Sarah Robertson and Amy Costello – are back in the fold since then as is goalkeeper Amy Gibson who plies her trade professionally in Germany. 

What Ireland have seen, though, is the Scots opening game, a 4-1 defeat to an impressive Spanish outfit. 

For Ireland, Lizzie Holden did not sustain a concussion from the ball that hit her head in the game against the Dutch and she should be available to play a part. 

“We know for sure they will be a completely different team from the one we saw in Belfast a few weeks ago,” captain Katie Mullan said of that challenge having run up those two wins over the Scots.  

“They have strong players and we will learn a lot from watching them play Spain. We know we have to control the game and the pace. If we take the energy we brought out there today against the Dutch, add a few more things to it in terms of our attack and we will be in a good place.” 

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