Cregan brace sets Irish up for play-off clash with China

IRELAND will face China, the team ranked fourth in the world, in the bronze medal match at the KT Cup in South Korea after beating Malaysia 4-0 yesterday.

Eimear Cregan opened the scoring after 14 minutes with her fourth goal of the tournament and added a second three minutes before half-time.

Two minutes into the second half a move by Lynsey McVicker and Linda Caulfield was finished off by Jenny Burke and seconds before the final whistle McVicker, making her 140th appearance, made it 4-0.

Irish coach Riet Kuper said after the game: “We deserved the win and were never in any danger of losing. Our objective was to keep a clean sheet, which we did. We did not concede any corners which is also encouraging. We had more goal scoring opportunities but failed to capitalise on them.”

Two-goal hero Cregan said: “We are really pleased with our performances so far and are delighted to be in a position to challenge for a medal.”

Ireland now look forward to a bronze medal match at 12 noon local time (3am Irish) against China. In other games in the KT Cup England beat Korea 2-1, while China overcame India on the same scoreline.

Meanwhile, Irish men’s coach David Passmore has announced his squad for a series of matches against France to be played in Lille on the 2/3 July.

“After a pleasing trip to Aberdeen, we are looking forward to these testing matches against a fast-improving French team,” said Passmore.

France are ranked 18th, five places above Ireland, but Passmore is confident about his young side. “We have added some of the younger players to the squad such as Eugene Magee and Phelie Maguire as a chance for them to stake a claim for a place in the squad moving forward.”

IRELAND (women v Malaysia): Goode, Hodgins, McKeever, O’Brien, Connery, Carey, Caulfield, Burke, McVicker, Symmons, Cregan. Subs: Beaney (16), McDonough (10), Casey (16), O’Neill (22), Parkhill (43). Not used: Platt, Orbinson.

IRELAND (men v France): Barbour, J. Black (vc), M. Black, Brown (c), Burns, Butler, Cockram, Eakins, Elliott, Gleghorne, Gormley, Henderson (gk), N. Henderson (gk), Hobbs, Lewers, Magee, Maguire, Shaw.

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