Exciting performance but narrow defeat in Belfast for Scotland women

Scotland women lost 2-1 to Ireland in Belfast but the young Scottish squad put in another exciting performance against a top-ranked side.

The Scots performed well from the outset and looked strong defensively and created chances from a high press.

However, the first goal of the match went to the home side, and it came right before half time. Ireland attacked down the left and the ball fizzed across goal for a back post finish for 1-0.

Scotland came out strong again in the second half with Sarah Jamieson and Heather McEwan leading the line well and causing problems.

Ava Findlay was also a thorn in the Irish defence with the youngster asking questions of the back line, while Ruth Blaikie and Bronwyn Shields looked solid in deep midfield.

Another strong performance by Sophie Hinds caught the eye in an exciting team performance that saw the Tartan Hearts shut Ireland down, and enjoy good spells of possession.

A momentary lapse of concentration with 15 minutes to go saw Ireland punish the young Scots and go 2-0 ahead through a penalty corner deflection.

Scotland kept working hard and got their reward when they pulled the score back to 2-1.  Jamieson won the ball and fed Findlay, who rolled it back to Jamieson to pick out Georgia Jones for the finish.

A late flurry of chances for Scotland couldn’t find the back of the net and Ireland took the victory.

Head Coach Chris Duncan said, “It was a brilliant performance and really exciting to see so many young players step up to this level so well. We’re playing against a top side here who are ranked very highly, with very experienced players, and the young players coming into the team stepped up really well to the challenge.

“We’re disappointed not to get more from the game but so proud of the performance, and it’s a great developmental experience for the team. We’ll look forward to the final game tomorrow.”

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