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'There was no talk before the game about breaking records' - Denise O’Sullivan looking beyond her first career hat-trick

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Ireland's Denise O'Sullivan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland's Denise O'Sullivan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland's Denise O'Sullivan. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Vera Pauw’s Ireland squad were happy to be able to return to their clubs on a high after a mixed week concluded with a record breaking 11-0 win over Georgia on Tuesday night.

Ireland’s primary mission coming into this home double-header was to collect full points so last Thursday’s draw with Slovakia was deeply disappointing.

However, the team bounced back in style by tearing apart the hapless bottom seeds, and that allowed squad members to take a glass half full approach of this gathering – last month’s victory in Finland still leaves Pauw’s charges in control of their play-off destiny.

Hat-trick star Denise O’Sullivan said there was introspection in the aftermath of the sloppy Slovakian struggle.

“We’d played really well in Finland so expected to play well against Slovakia,” she said.

“We were confident before the game but on the night we just didn’t perform. It wasn’t our best. We looked at it afterwards and we knew that individually none of us performed on the night.

“We’ll take this win to give us confidence and finish the year on a high. To go out there in that professional manner and score that many goals, we’re very happy. There were a lot of different scorers and big performances from the girls.

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“There was no talk before the game about breaking records, we were just focused on doing our individual jobs. Every person performed and that’s why we got so many goals.”

O’Sullivan was looking beyond her first career hat-trick to the task at hand next term.

Ireland face away games against Sweden and Georgia before the concluding September double-header at home to Finland and away to Slovakia, which will likely decide their fate.

Pauw’s team are one point ahead of Finland and eight behind runaway leaders Sweden.

“We’re in a good position going into the New Year,” said US-based O’Sullivan.

“We’ve a long way to go, still having Finland to play at home. They’re a very good team but we’ll be looking to win against those. We’ve still got Sweden (away) so there’s a long way to go. We’ll see but we’re in a good position.”

Another notable aspect on Tuesday was the number of players who got off the mark at international level with Lucy Quinn amongst them.

The 28-year-old only received clearance to play for Ireland in September and dedicated her strike to her late grandfather who passed away after her debut against Australia.

She thought she had got off the mark in that match but it was put down as an own goal.

“I recently lost my grandad so I’m glad I can go back to my family now and give him a little bit of a shout out,” she said. “I’m glad that I got a goal for him.”

Quinn said the mood in the group improved once they came to terms with the impact of the Slovakian result in the bigger picture.

“I think immediately afterwards we were quite deflated because we felt we didn’t give our best performance and could have gotten more out of the game but I think the more you process it and realise that you’re playing top teams and that it doesn’t always go your way, we’re happy we got a point with a quality goal from Katie (McCabe),” she said.

“I think that made us more driven and clinical and hopefully we can continue that.”



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