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WATCH: Roisín Upton Holds Nerve As Ireland Qualify For Tokyo

Limerick’s Roisín Upton kept her nerve to convert a crucial penalty shuttle as the Irish Women’s Hockey side qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Having previously missed a shuttle in the initial part of the shoot out, the Crescent Comprehensive and current Catholic Institute player held her nerve to convert in sudden death.

Women’s FIH Olympic Hockey Qualifier Second Leg, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Co. Dublin 3/11/2019 Ireland vs Canada Ireland’s Roisin Upton celebrates with fans Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Speaking to RTE sport Upton said.

My first one (penalty shuttle) didn’t go to plan, but Sean (Dancer) came over to us as soon as it went to sudden death and he just called out his order of one to five.

“So when he said number one it filled me with confidence, if he backs me that I will back myself and make use of the full eight seconds and luckily the ball didn’t cross the end line there and I snuck it in.”

It meant that it fell to Ayeisha McFerran who pulled off a superb save to send Ireland through after an agonising video referral.

As the celebrations continued around the temporary pitch installed in Donnybrook, Upton was understandably overjoyed.

“It’s surreal. I tried to imagine what time moment might feel like during the week and it’s just completely surpasses it 20 times over. It’s absolutely incredible.

“The atmosphere was incredible. Massive thanks to Irish hockey, SoftCo and everyone, all the volunteers. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”

Women’s FIH Olympic Hockey Qualifier Second Leg, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Co. Dublin 3/11/2019 Ireland vs Canada Irish players rush to celebrate with goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran after she makes the save that sends them to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

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Raffaele Rocca