England recorded their first win at the Vitality Hockey Women’s to finish second in Pool B and qualify for the knockout stages.
England beat Ireland 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Giselle Ansley who fired home a drag-flick after 53 minutes.
Next up for England is a crossover game against Korea on 31 July, with the winners facing the Netherlands in the quarter finals.
Despite their loss, Ireland top the pool thanks to victory in their opening two matches, and progress directly to the quarter finals.
England forward Ellie Rayer was satisfied with the side’s progress. She said: “Obviously we wouldn’t have wanted two draws at the start but technically we are still unbeaten. To get the win today, that was tournament hockey.
“We go forward now to the knockouts and the tournament really begins.”
Though the Green Army began the first quarter brightly, the stats from the period tell the tale of England’s dominance. England had eight shots on target, while Ireland failed to record a single circle entry.
After an uneventful second quarter, it took until the third for the game to come to life, when Ireland recaptured some of the form they had shown against the US and India. Firstly, Megan Frazer set off on a mazy run from outside the England 25, and found her way into the ‘D’ before miscuing her shot.
The Green Army then had three short corners in a row, the last bringing a reaction save out of Hinch. Not to be outdone, England ended the half with four short corners in succession, but the execution was disappointing and none posed a threat to the Irish goal.
In an exciting last period, England won yet more penalty corners. Eventually, with their 14th of the game, Giselle Ansley’s drag flick struck the backboard to give England the lead.
Ireland’s Nicola Evans had an opportunity to equalise, but Hinch was quickly off the mark to deny the striker space and prevent the chance.
There was still time for Hannah Martin to extended England’s lead when with five minutes left her effort was well saved by the out rushing Grace O’Flanaghan.
Having never previously won two group stage matches at a World Cup, for Ireland to top the group is a great achievement.
Ireland’s forward Deidre Duke explained the reasons for their success. She said: “This has been something that’s been building for years and years.
“We’re incredibly focused, and we prepare meticulously for every game and we’re just going out there and putting our best foot forward.
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