Since the opening test both teams have been hard at work in Stellenbosch working towards their goals for the Tokyo Olympics. The South Africans were in action against the SA Invitational U21’s and Netherlands U21 while Ireland took on Netherlands U21 and Germany in a test match.
The South Africans had competed well in parts of the first test but the second test was all Ireland as they punished every mistake by the South Africans with ruthless efficiency. Anna O’Flanagan was at the heart of the first goal, laying off to Katie Mullan and then picking up Ellen Curran’s pass, leading to a reverse across goal which Nikki Evans turned in.
Two goals in a minute before half-time made it 3-0. Shirley McCay’s sweep hit a foot on the line and Lena Tice scored the ensuing stroke. Roisin Upton created and scored the third, stepping through to rob possession on halfway and she piled forward, feeding Evans who returned the favour for the Limerick woman to net.
O’Flanagan got her own goal early in the second half before Nomnikelo Veto got one back in 40th minute. Sarah Hawkshaw’s corner goal, however, finished off the scoring toward the end of the third quarter.
For the South Africans it was a case of back to the drawing room with a lot of work to do over the remainder of the series, while for Ireland it was a happy result after their 4-0 defeat to Germany on Saturday.
The two teams lock horns again on Tuesday night at 19:00 for the final test of their series. Although Ireland have already won the series, there are still world ranking points up for grabs as the South Africans look to close the gap between them in 16th and Ireland in 8th.
Earlier in the night the SA Invitational side gave a spirited performance before going down 3-1 to the Netherlands U21, Mishka Ellis creating more highlights on an already impressive CV.
Picture – Kim Clayton Photography, not for reuse.