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'Fair' result as Belgium beat Irish to Olympics

IRELAND'S women's hockey team failed to book a place at the London Olympics after they lost 4-1 to Belgium in the qualifying final in Beerschot.

The home side took the lead after 13 minutes through Sofie Gierts and doubled their advantage four minutes later when the same player converted a penalty stroke.

Gierts completed a six-minute hat-trick following a penalty corner on 19 minutes.

Ireland finally made one of six penalty corners in the first half count in the 56th minute, as Audrey O'Flynn fired home, but Belgium hit back within seconds through Erica Coppey.

Ireland coach Gene Muller said: "I am disappointed in the result, but it was a fair result."

Ireland's men failed to reach the Olympics last Sunday after a 3-2 loss to South Korea in the qualifying final.