While there was eventual heartache for at the Olympics this afternoon for Ireland Women’s Hockey Team, they remain defiant despite their early exit.
The Green Army were seen off by a streetwise Team GB, losing the game 2-0, following goals from Susannah Townsend and Hannah Martin.
Ireland went into the game knowing that they had to win following India’s 4-3 win over South Africa earlier in the day, but it was not to be.
The disappointment, however, was tinged with much defiance from the Irish camp who reached the Olympic games for the first time in their history at this years delayed games.
“It is raw emotion,” Hannah McLoughlin told Hockey Ireland after the game.
Firstly not getting to the quarter-finals which I think we were more than capable of. Secondly, knowing this is probably a few of our players last games. It is not the send-off any of us wanted to give them.
But we have broken the ceiling, coming to the Olympics and for those of us fortunate enough to keep going, we want to push on for Paris and then go for the quarters and semis.
Even before coming out here, getting on any plane, regardless of any result, we were bursting with pride for my friends, family and all the people I represent, the other 18 players here with me.
The few words we did have after the match, although disappointment was quite a big thing, pride came up an awful lot.
Although the result was not what we wanted, no one has any regrets about today. We gave it our all, it just wasn’t to be.
Ireland coach Sean Dancer also took pride in the performances turned in from his charges at the Olympics, ad their journey to get their as a whole.
“We will take a lot of lessons from the journey and experience,” he said. “We are competing against the best in the world in the pinnacle of our event.
For women’s sport and Irish hockey, it’s certainly something to be very proud to be part of.
The girls have done all the hard work over the last four years, getting that silver medal and in a good position for this tournament. Very proud of all their performances.
Those girls should be very proud of the performances they put in and what they have achieved.
There will be a few tears and some celebrations over the next few weeks when they get a chance.