Irish women fall just short against Germany
The Irish women came within touching distance of a first EuroHockey Championship semi-final spot but a maiden draw against Germany proved just short of the required victory in Antwerp, writes Stephen Findlater.
All the scoring came in the first quarter with Germany taking the lead courtesy of a stunning Pia Maertens blast into the top corner. Sarah Hawkshaw equalised soon after amid a penalty-corner melee for 1-1.
Thereafter, it was a humdinger of a tussle, the two sides taking turns to throw everything at their rivals.
Nicci Daly was having a personal battle with goalkeeper Julia Sonntag with three snap-shots drawing some remarkable saves.
The goalkeeper also kept out a last-minute Anna O'Flanagan chance with the grill of her face mask to secure the point that saw them advance with England, dropping Ireland into the relegation pool, on Friday and Sunday.
The men, meanwhile, play their first relegation pool match against England at 2.45pm (Irish time).
"We are so much closer and teams really have to take us seriously. Hopefully when we meet Germany again at some stage - maybe Tokyo - the result will be flipped," Gillian Pinder reflected.
Ireland - A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, S Hawkshaw, A O'Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke. Subs: R Upton, G Pinder, N Daly, H Matthews, A Meeke, N Evans, L Murphy
Germany - J Sonntag, A Wortmann, N Lorenz, S Oruz, H Gablac, A Schroder, E Grave, J Muller-Wieland, P Maertens, V Huse, H Granitzki. Subs: K Horn, L Micheel, S Zimmerman, F Hauke, C Pieper, R Grote, N Kubalski.