Women's hockey: Coach Kevin Johnson proud of beaten Wales

Wales women's hockey team
The Wales team that was beaten 2-0 by Ireland on Saturday

Coach Kevin Johnson says he's proud Wales after their 2-0 defeat by Ireland in the round two semi final of the World hockey league in Kuala Lumpor.

Two goals inside a minute by Yvonne O'Byrne and Anna O'Flanagan gave the Irish - ranked 16 places higher than Wales - a hard-earned win.

"The only difference between the two sides ultimately was that Ireland took their chances very well," said Johnson.

Wales face Italy in a third-place play-off on Sunday.

"In what was always going to be a tough assignment, I was so proud of how we played throughout the match," added Johnson.

"Despite a large difference in world ranking, we matched a strong Irish side in several areas."

Malaysia beat Italy in a penalty shoot-out to win the other semi-final.

The round two semi-final is the furthest Wales have gone in the tournament, and Hockey Wales head of performance Dan Clements is pleased by the progress shown by the squad

"It's been fantastic over the past 12 months," he said.

"The results have been very positive and it's been great to see them compete with and beat higher ranked nations on a regular basis.

"This world league performance is testament to their hard work and where they want to go as a group; both they and the management should be extremely proud.

"To go toe to toe with the world number 16 in a semi-final will be a huge learning experience for them as they look towards a big summer in the Europeans [championship]."

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