The Indian women’s hockey team registered a 3-1 victory over Ireland in the first ‘Test’ at Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday. This tour is a preparation for the Champions Challenge 1, scheduled at Glasgow from April 27 to May 4.

India rode on goals from Poonam Rani (37th minute), Ritu Rani (61st) and Sunita Lakra (68th) while Megan Frazer scored the lone goal for Ireland in the fourth minute.

The Indian women’s team had a tough time in the first half as it was the host which enjoyed the early share of exchanges and managed to score through Megan, who converted a penalty corner. Ireland led 1-0 at half-time.

However, it was a different story in the second half as the visitor started to get a hold on the game. The Indian women came up with different strategies, which surprised the host.

Poonam made it 1-1 in the 37th minute by scoring off a penalty corner and Ritu put India ahead in the 61st minute through a field goal.

Sunita converted a penalty corner to seal the match in India’s favour in the 68th.

First loss

Elsewhere, the Indian men’s team lost 2-1 to Belgium for its first defeat in the ongoing European tour at Naarden, The Netherlands on Tuesday.

The men had earlier thrashed Leiden Hockey Club 7-0 in the first build-up game at Oegstgeest before playing out a 3-3 draw with HGC Hockey Club in the next game of the tour, organised as preparation for the FIH men’s World Cup to be held at The Hague from May 31 to June 15.

Belgium opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Tom Boon’s penalty corner conversion and held on to the lead till the half time. India managed to draw parity in the 58th minute when vice-captain Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty corner. But India’s joy was short-lived as Belgium found the target again with a field goal in the next minute, again through Boon.

The results: Men: Belgium 2 (Tom Boon 17, 59) bt India 1 (Rupinder Pal Singh 58).

Women: India 3 (Poonam Rani 37, Ritu Rani 61, Sunita Lakra 68) bt Ireland 1 (Megan Frazer 4).

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