Ireland and Korea continue on their “Road To Tokyo”

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Hosts Ireland and Korea qualify for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers that are scheduled to be held in October-November later this year. Both teams registered comfortable wins in their semis.

Singapore vs Ukraine

Banbridge witnessed another rainy start as both Ukraine and Singapore battled to avoid finishing last. Ukraine (WR: 26) started as favourites to win this match, especially with Singapore (WR: 35) coming off two heavy defeats. Singapore again chose to be on the defence, allowing their opponents to build pressure.

However, to their great credit, the young Singapore side made a much better start today and managed to hold fort in the first thirty minutes of the match. Ukraine came close to taking the lead on a couple of occasions either side of the two quarters but failed to convert their opportunities.

Ukraine had to wait until the 33rd minute before Yevheniya Kernoz converted a penalty corner to take them into 1-0 lead. Five minutes later Yulia Shevchenko doubled their advantage through another penalty corner.

Ukraine scored a third in the final quarter as Singapore struggled to move beyond their half. They did manage to get one penalty corner towards the end of the match but failed to capitalise on the opportunity. Ukraine finished seventh with a 3-0 win over Singapore.

Ukraine’s captain Yana Vorushylo: “Disappointed with the overall result but it was a great opportunity for us to play against some of the top teams here.”

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FIH Women’s Series Finals Banbridge,2019

Result: Singapore 0, Ukraine 3 (match for 7th place)

Umpires: Durga Devi (IND), Mariana Reydo (ARG)

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Ireland vs Czech Republic

Hosts Ireland faced very few hurdles to repeat their performance of the group stage versus Czech Republic, defeating their opponents 4-0 to enter the final of the FIH Series Final in Banbridge.

Persistent rains made the conditions tougher for both the teams who were looking to seal their spot in the FIH Olympic qualifier in October-November 2019. Czech Republic made a strong start to the match as they earned a penalty corner in the first five minutes. The hosts took some time to get into the groove and created couple of chances towards the end of the first quarter.

In the last two minutes of the first quarter, Anna O’Flanagan and Deirdre Duke came very close to taking the lead for the hosts, but both were kept at bay from Czech Republic’s Barbora Cechakova. Ireland continued their momentum into the second quarter and the experienced Shirley McCay swept Ireland to a lead. Just couple of minutes later another penalty corner saw Zoe Wilson extend the advantage as she scored her third goal of the event.

In the second half, Ireland kept up the pressure on the Czech Republic’s goal and keeper Cechakova looked in top form as she kept a check on all the moves by the hosts. Ireland controlled possession but couldn’t breach the defence in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter Ireland came out with an intent to close the game and clearly looked the better of the two teams. After already scoring a goal earlier in the match, McKay turned creator created for Sarah Hawkshaw to make it 3-0 in the 50th minute. The match was finally closed by a good counter from the hosts as Anna O’Flanagan finally got her name on the scoresheet.

Ireland’s Shirley McCay: “We really enjoyed the game. We were a bit hesitant in the first half due to the rain but we dominated large phases of the game and we knew the game plan they wanted to implement and we stuck to our plan and got the goals in the end.”

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FIH Women’s Series Finals Banbridge,2019

Result: Ireland 4, Czech Republic 0 (Semi-final 1)

Umpires: Rachel Williams (ENG), Lelia Sacre (CAN)

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Korea vs Malaysia

The final match of the day finally saw some sunshine on the Asian teams as Korea and Malaysia took to the pitch to fill the second spot for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers. Korea came out all guns blazing and emerged as a clear dominant side in the first quarter as they created a chance for Cho Hyejin a free hit in the 12th minute. Two minutes into the second quarter Kim Hyunji made it 2-0 for Korea.

The Malaysian team did try to get their way back into the match by some aggressive counter-play, including a phase in the second quarter when two of the Korean players were green-carded. But the Malaysian team couldn’t capitalise on their limited chances.

In the final quarter some defensive lapses cost Malaysia another goal as Cheon Eunbi made it 3-0 for the Koreans. With this win Korea registered their place in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers and will now play Ireland in the final for the first place.

Korea’s captain An Hyoju: “We will want to get our techniques right for tomorrow and will go for a win against Ireland.”

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FIH Women’s Series Finals Banbridge,2019

Result: Korea 3, Malaysia 0 (Semi-final 2)

Umpires: Claire Druijts (NED), Hannah Harrison (ENG)

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The action continues in Banbridge on 16th June 2019

1200 (CET) FRA – SCO (5th place play-off)

1415 (CET) CZE – MAS (3rd place play-off)

1630 (CET) IRL – KOR (final)

To find out more about the competition, follow the FIH Series Finals on FacebookTwitterInstagram or visit the FIH website.

#FIHSeriesFinals

#RoadToTokyo

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