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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Nicola Daly scored a worldy as Ireland's hockey stars stunned South Africa today

And Nikki Evans grabbed a hat-trick.

THIS CLASS SOLO effort from Nicola Daly was the icing on the cake for Ireland today, who ran out 4-1 winners over South Africa in Valencia.

And Nikki Evans’ hit a hat trick in the opening game of their Hockey World League semi-final. It secured an excellent victory over a higher-ranked  side in the world rankings – Ireland are 14th..

“It was fantastic,” captain Megan Frazer said. “It was a perfectly executed game-plan that inspired the result.”

The result puts Ireland in great shape to advance to one of the four quarter-final places from their initial five-team group. They are back in action tomorrow at 2pm Irish time against European champions Germany.

The tournament acts as the main event for Olympic qualification.

Ireland:  E Gray, C Sargent, E Smyth, K Mullan, S McCay, M Frazer, A Connery, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan

Subs: Y O’Byrne, N Evans, G Pinder, C Watkins, K Dillon, A Meeke, A McFerran

Power ranking the 8 best current internationals with a League of Ireland background

It doesn’t sound like Martin O’Neill is expecting a pretty game against Scotland

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