|Sides were level from the previous night when they met in Energia Park this evening. Ireland the more dominant on night one of the double header threatened from the start, with the opening chance of the game coming from Anna O’Flanagan, unfortunately going wide. Canada came back with penalty corner at 7 minutes. McFerran saved and a scramble ensued, with Mullan pushing the rebound out of the circle to be taken back up the pitch. Hawkshaw was solid up near Canada circle, with Tice strong in defence later in Q1 when Canada threaten 13 minutes in. The sides remained level in the first quarter with neither team adding to the score board.
Wilson, Duke and Colvin started off strong in the second quarter to get things going, however Duke was on the receiving end of a Green Card shortly after. Canada appeared to have more chances throughout the second quarter, however none prevailed. A bounce over Mullan’s stick skimmed the back of it before she circled it expertly around her opponent and found a Canadian foot. The awarding penalty corner awarded to Ireland was overturned by the video umpire for a back-stick.
Canada failed to convert a huge chance in the third quarter to put themselves on the scoreboard. A penalty corner for Ireland failed to convert in the final quarter, and the sides remained level going into the final minute. Canada were awarded two consecutive penalty corners in the final minute of the game. The final hooter went with level sides still. A penalty shoot-out was to decide the fate of both teams.
Penalty shoot-out saw Ireland down 3 – 1 at one point. However, the team held their nerve with Bethany Barr bringing them back up to 3 – 2 down. Chloe Watkins brought the equaliser and Canada’s Johnston was denied by McFerran, taking them to sudden death. The packed house in Energia Park held it’s breath.
Roisin Upton slipped by Williams and put the ball across the line for Ireland, surviving a video referral. Woodcroft failed to take her shot before the 8 seconds were up, and Ireland secured their ticket to Tokyo.
The first Irish Women’s Hockey team to do so ever.