EuroHockey 2013: Alex Speers hits double in Ireland win

Alex Speers

Ireland's women bounced back from an opening-day hammering by the Netherlands to beat Belarus 3-2 at the European Hockey Championship.

Captain Alex Speers scored two of Ireland's goals with Lisa Jacob also on target for the Irish in Belgium.

Victory on Tuesday against the hosts should clinch a semi-final place for the Irish.

"Yesterday was difficult. We ran out of steam but we knew today was must-win and we did that," said Speers.

Speers put Ireland ahead in the eighth minute after good approach play from Shirley McCay and Anna O'Flanagan.

The Irish missed chances to extend their lead before half-time and Belarus levelled 10 minutes into the second period as Volha Shyntar scored.

However, Speers restored Ireland's lead five minutes later following a goalmouth scramble after a Belarus sin-binning and Jacob added the third goal five minutes from time.

Nastassia Syrayezhka pulled a goal back for Belarus a minute later but the Irish held on to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

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