Ireland's World Cup chances ta...

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Ireland's World Cup chances take a hit with England loss


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Ireland's hopes of securing the last remaining World Cup qualification spot from the EuroHockey Championships have been dashed following a 5-1 loss to England. 

Needing to bounce back quickly from the disappointment of failing to advance from their pool, Sean Dancer's side started well in but will rue a damaging second quarter.

Having taken the lead through Deirdre Duke in the first quarter, they conceded three times in the second with England eventually ending as comfortable winners.

It means that Ireland now head into Saturday's clash with Italy on the back foot to top the pool.

The team that tops the four-team section after the round-robin matches will secure a place at next summer's World Cup.

Ireland do however carry their 1-0 win over Scotland into the pool and will have another chance to qualify in October.

Elsewhere, the Scots beat Italy 3-1 in the same pool this morning.

Barring an unlikely sequence of events - unless England lose heavily to Scotland and Ireland win by a large margin against Italy - it is likely that October's final qualifier will provide the last opportunity to Ireland to make the World Cup.

Ireland started well in Amsterdam and Deirdre Duke's early goal suggested they could produce a historic result.

However, England powered on in the second quarter by scoring three goals.

Anna Toman opened the scoring for the winners, and soon after they hit the front with two goals from Sarah Evans.

Giselle Ainsley and Jo Hunter applied the gloss to an impressive win for England.

Ireland play their remaining match tomorrow (Saturday) against Italy.


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