Women’s Pool C: Ireland 3 (Evans, Hawkshaw, Mullan) Russia 2 (Sadovaia, Leonova)

An early morning start for the Irish Women’s final match of the Euro Hockey Tournament in Antwerp saw them achieve a 3 – 2 victory over Russia to finish 5th place overall in the tournament on Sunday the 25th.

The Irish Women came agonisingly close to a first European Championships semi-final position after producing a 1-1 draw against Germany earlier in the tournament. Having put the world number 5 ranked team under serious pressure the squad have shown they are capable of mixing it with the top teams in the world.

With 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in the tournament, the Irish Women’s hockey team comfortably retain their top tier European status for 2021 and show that their new coaching set-up is starting to show results.

Speaking after the final match, Head Coach Sean Dancer said, “We always knew it was going to be a tough game and Russia are a good team; they certainly have some good players.

Last game of the tournament is always nice and tough. In the end, there are things we can do better, especially in the attacking circle and today we only forced one penalty corner so we probably weren’t as smart as we’ve been in the last few games, but real credit to the girls they kept fighting and were able to get the win 3 – 2.”

Europeans are considered one of the toughest continental championships to compete in for hockey, with many of the top ranked teams in the world situated in Europe. Winning the competition outright secures automatic Olympic qualification, however a competitive tournament equalling their best ever result at this level shows that Ireland are in good form as they look to build towards their direct Olympic qualifier in two months’ time.