Ireland beat France in Eurohockey Championships II opener
Last updated on .From the section Hockey
Ireland secured a convincing 7-1 win over France in the first match of their Eurohockey Championships II campaign.
Megan Frazer and Naomi Carroll scored two goals apiece, with Katie Mullan, Nicci Daly and Deirdre Duke also getting their names on the scoersheet.
The Irish need to finish in the top two in the tournament to earn promotion to the top flight of European competition.
The match was the first in charge for new coach Graham Shaw who has taken over from New Zealander Darren Smith.
Ireland are hoping to put behind them the heartbreak of failing to qualify for the Olympics from the recent World League 3 tournament in Valencia.
Mullan's sixth-minute goal was quickly cancelled out in the seventh by a goal for France, but the Irish looked in control for most of the contest.
A mixture of experience and youth, Kerri McDonald winning her first cap today, proved a successful combination as Carroll and Daly both scored within minutes of each other to make it 3-1 at half time.
Captain Frazer led by example as she darted through the centre of the French defence and scored in the opening two minutes of the second half.
Duke was next on the score sheet as she skilfully drew the goalkeeper from her line and side stepped around her to clinically find the net.
Again Frazer showed her skill, leaving defenders in her wake, as she set up Carroll for her second goal.
With one minute to go, Frazer scored again to extend her side's lead to six.
"We're happy with the result and are looking to make improvements in every game," said Shaw after his first match in charge.
"I thought the game was a bit loose at times but to score seven goals in an international match is always nice. We must recover well now and get ready for Ukraine on Sunday night."
Ireland: McFerran, Brown, Mullan, McCay, Frazer (C), Carroll, Pinder, Watkins, Daly, Matthews, Sargent
Substitutes: Davis, O'Byrne, Lloyd, Duke, McDonald, Meeke, Beatty.