Saturday, March 2, 2024

Great Britain women oust Ireland to qualify for Paris Olympic hockey

Valencia — Great Britain’s players attested to nerves as the women’s side bid for the final women’s ticket on offer for Paris 2024. But they summoned the big game mentality to beat Ireland 2-1, who threw everything they could muster at David Ralph’s side. Two telling circle touches up front, a dominant midfield and Sabbie Heesh without any notable save at the back kept up GB’s record of qualifying for every Olympics missing out in 2004.

Goals in either half from Sarah Jones and Katie Robertson – their Welsh and Scottish internationals – proved the difference here. Irish stopper Ayeisha McFerran was forced into a number of saves to keep this win or bust game within sight of the Green Army but just when they needed it most, they couldn’t find a way past Heesh. For GB, it was their best performance of this tournament.

“It was a cagey affair. I was quite nervous to be honest and tentative,” said Izzy Petter. “In the second half I was like ‘you’ve got show up for the team and your team-mates’.

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