Dublin: 19°C Thursday 16 September 2021

'You could see the smiles. It was just fun, and it still feels so surreal'

Ireland goalscorer Sarah Torrans was delighted with her side’s winning start at the Olympic Games.

ireland-players-celebrate-after-the-game Ireland celebrate after their opening win. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO


The Irish women’s hockey team enjoyed a winning start to their first-ever Olympic Games campaign with a 2-0 victory over South Africa and according to goalscorer Sarah Torrans, “It still feels so surreal”.

The 22-year-old Dubliner, playing her first senior ranking tournament game, sealed the deal in the third quarter with a stunning flick, adding to Róisín Upton’s early opener.

Emotion, glistening eyes, and massive smiles through a powerful rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann set the tone at the Oi Stadium on an historic occassion.

After all the exhilarating highs and gut-wrenching lows of the past few years; the heartbreak, despair and joy; the Green Army were where they belonged: on the biggest stage in the world. And as they always do, Sean Dancer’s side enjoyed every minute.

They dominated from start to finish, the 2018 World Cup silver medallists starting what should be a difficult pool run on a high with a solid performance.

“You could see the smiles when we walked out,” Torrans said just moments after the win.

“It was just fun; it was a long day waiting to get out on the pitch and it still feels so surreal. To do it with this group of girls is incredible.

“It is just a pity we can’t do it with family and friends but hopefully we are doing them proud. It is nice to get on the score sheet in the first game; it is what an attacker dreams of and hopefully we can bring that into the next few games.

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“We are delighted with a win and excited to get it going. Netherlands next, the best in the world. It’s always a fun game but we will come out fighting.”

Speaking to the International Hockey Federations [FIH] media platform, the Loreto star and DCU student added that the opening victory was a “relief.”

“We’re just here, having a load of fun and dreaming of being in the Olympics and to finally get over the line in our first game is incredible. It’s just great to get a good start.”

Ireland are no strangers to the all-conquering Dutch, most recently falling to a 4-0 loss at their hands at last month’s European Championships while the overhwelming favourites for this tournament defeated them 6-0 in the 2018 World Cup final.

They lock horns on Monday, before Ireland face Germany, India and Great Britain as the pool stages heat up later in the week.

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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