Birthday girl Bethany Barr celebrates as Ireland reach semi-finals of FIH Series Finals at Banbridge

Bethany Barr mobbed by team-mates following a goal for Ireland on her major tournament debut during Saturday's defeat of Malaysia in Banbridge
Bethany Barr mobbed by team-mates following a goal for Ireland on her major tournament debut during Saturday's defeat of Malaysia in Banbridge

Bethany Barr’s birthday celebrations have been put on hold until the weekend when Ireland will hopefully clinch top spot at the FIH Series Finals being staged at Havelock Park, Banbridge.

Former Lurgan star Barr, currently playing out of UCD, helped Ireland tounce Singapore 11-0 to secure first spot in their group and a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Barr has been making her tournament debut with Ireland, and she marked that with her first international goal as Ireland defeated Malaysia 2-1 in their opening pool game on Saturday.

That was followed by an 8-1 win over Czech Republic on Sunday and the Irish, who are favourites to win the Series Final and keep their Olympic dream for Tokyo 2020 on track.

The top two teams at this tournament will go through to the Olympic qualifying series in October.

“I was excited to have my birthday here with the girls. Different way to have it, I am a twin and Serena and I would normally celebrate it together and I miss her today,” said Bethany.

“But it was great to get this victory (over Singapore) and go top of the group - so it is a good birthday present if you like.

“It was a good performance, started out strong in the first quarter and yes we dipped a bit in the third, but we came out in the final quarter and scored a few more goals.

“We are happy with the performance, happy with the scoreline and delighted to be top of the group at this stage.”

Barr added: “There are three days before we play again and recovery is key to the preparation.

“We will get back into training Thursday and Friday and really study the opposition once we know who it may be.”