Ireland fall to England loss despite late rally
Ireland 1 England 2
Ireland's wait for a first win over England in a ranking event continues as they were left deflated by a 2-1 loss in their opening EuroHockey Championships tie in Antwerp.
Beth Barr's goal 17 minutes from time set up a grandstand finish from the Green Army. However, a controversial late penalty stroke shout, two Maddie Hinch saves and a Shirley McCay shot that skimmed the post combined to deny them.
Earlier, England had scored from two penalty corner goals, with Suzy Petty netting on the quarter-time hooter before Giselle Ansley's master-blaster made it 2-0.
But Ireland got the best of the physical exchanges as time wore on and England saw a series of cards. In the extra space, Chloe Watkins prospered and the chances began to flow. Barr guided in a penalty corner move and Sean Dancer's side went on to boss the closing quarter but could not find the killer touch.
It leaves Ireland facing a must-win tie against Belarus this afternoon in their chase for a semi-final spot.
"You've got to move on very quickly," said Ireland's Katie Mullan. "We won't reflect too much on it but we will look to play like the second half to tee up a big game for ourselves against Germany."