Photo - Anton Geyser / SA Sports Images

The South African Hockey women opened their campaign with a tough match up against the 2018 FIH World Cup silver medallists Ireland. It would also be the South Africans official test match in two years after the COVID Pandemic hurt the programme badly.

The South Africans started the game by handing international debuts to Edith Molikoe, Charne Maddocks and Lerato Mahole.

South Africa had the clearest opening opportunity with Nicky Veto unable to convert after some great build up play and Ireland were able to convert from the first penalty corner of the game through a low drive from Roisin Upton. The Irish were creating a number of circle entries but were not generating outcomes with South Africa attempting to play the ball on the counter.

The defensive combination and Phumelela Mbande in goals were able to hold off the Irish, but there were so few opportunities being created by the South Africans. And at half time the score remained 1-0.

South Africa were able to create a few circle entries and managed to win a penalty corner, but were unable to convert and just after that Sarah Torrans completed a moment of real quality to divert the ball beyond Mbande and give the Irish the 2nd goal they were desperate for.

That second goal would be the final as neither team was able to create another meaningful opportunity and it was Ireland who got the tournament off to the perfect start.  For South Africa its back to the drawing board ahead of playing Great Britain on Monday.