Limerick's Roisin Upton who made a crucial contribution in the Ireland women's hockey side's 3-1 World Cup win over USA
LIMERICK'S Roisin Upton and her Ireland team mates made the perfect start to the Womens Hockey World Cup in London when easing past the USA 3-1 in their opening pool fixture on Saturday evening.
It was a memorable win for the Irish over a USA team ranked seventh in the world.
Raheen woman Upton and her Ireland team mates play their second Pool B fixture of the World Cup on Thursday next when taking on India, 2pm, before going head-to-head with hosts and Olympic silver medallists England on Sunday next.
Ireland made the perfect start against the USA taking the lead inside five minutes when Deirdre Duke got the scoreboard ticking. The vision of 24-year-old Limerick woman Roisin Upton came to the forefront as she picked out Duke and sent the ball the length of the pitch to the waiting UCD stalwart in the circle.
Duke then rounded US keeper Jackie Briggs to score from a tricky angle.
Gillian Pinder won the first penalty corner of the match and Shirley McCay, Ireland’s most capped female athlete, made it 2-0 with one of her trademark sweeps from the top of the circle.
However, Margaux Paolino pulled one back for the US in the 15th minute.
There was no stopping Ireland, however, and Duke got her second goal for Ireland in the 41st minute with a composed finished past Briggs.
Former student of An Mhodh Scoil and Crescent College Comprehensive student Upton has now won up to 40 caps for Ireland. A talented sporting all-rounder, Upton also played ladies Gaelic football with Mungret-St Paul's and soccer with Janesboro.
Upton, who plays club hockey with Cork Harlequins, helped her US college side, the UConn Huskies to two NCAA titles – in 2013 and 2014. Ireland are ranked 16th in the world and are seeded 15 out of the 16 teams competing in London at the World Cup.
IRELAND team: Nicola Evans, Katie Mullan (captain), Shrley McCay, Gillian Pinder, Roisin Upton, Ayeisha McFerran, Chloe Watkins, Lizzie Colvin, Hannah Matthews, Anna O’Flanagan, Zoe Wilson. Substitutes: G O’Flanagan, Yvonne O’Byrne, M Frazer, Elena Tice, Nicci Daly, Deirdre Duke, Ali Meeke