Sean Dancer’s side battled as bravely as ever but the result was much the same as the last time they met the world’s top side.
Exactly the same, actually.
A stubborn defensive effort, anchored between the sticks by the superb Ayeisha McFerran, kept the Dutch to just the one goal until the Olympic favourites found the killer touches in the last quarter.
A 4-0 scoreline it was so, just as it had been when the sides met at the EuroHockey Nations Championship earlier this summer, but then this is a side that put six past them when they met at the World Cup final stage three years ago.
“It’s tough to take,” said McFerran. “We defended really, really well and I’m really [proud of how everyone just kept fighting right to the end. I’m very disappointed especially with the last goal. I don’t think I did myself justice with that one but it’s the Dutch and they are No.1 for a reason.”
Felice Albers got the scoring underway in the first quarter and it was Malou Pheninckx, Laurien Leurink and Frederique Matla who added the extras against an Irish side that had opened their pool account with a 2-0 win against South Africa.
Germany await on Wednesday. Qualification is still within their own hands.