Ireland's hockey hopefuls bow out but Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry remaIn in Olympic medal hunt

Ireland's hockey hopefuls bow out but Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry remaIn in Olympic medal hunt

THE IRISH women’s hockey team missed out on an Olympic quarter-final after a 2-0 defeat to reigning champions Great Britain in Tokyo today.

Meanwhile Ireland’s 4x400m Mixed Relay team finished last in the event’s inaugural appearance at the Olympics.

However golfers Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry both remain in contention for a medal going into tomorrow’s final day.

Must-win game

Sean Dancer’s hockey stars went into their final Pool A game knowing they had to win, following resurgent India’s 4-3 victory over South Africa earlier in the day.

But despite some stubborn defending in the first quarter, the 2018 World Cup finalists fell behind early in the second when Susannah Townsend reacted fastest to score after a good Ayeisha McFerran save from a penalty corner.

Kathryn Mullan of Team Ireland is consoled by Great Britain's Hannah Martin (Image: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Great Britain added a second two minutes into the third quarter through Hannah Martin and despite bringing Roisin Upton on for goalkeeper McFerran with five minutes to go, the increased attacking threat failed to yield results for Ireland.

Ireland were always up against it on their Olympics debut in a tough group that also contained reigning world champions the Netherlands.

Despite an opening pool game against South Africa, defeats to the Netherlands, Germany, India and now Great Britain see them finish in fifth place in Pool A.

National record for relay team

Ireland’s 4x400m Mixed Relay team meanwhile missed out on a medal when they finished eighth in the final, five seconds behind winners Poland.

Ireland booked their place in the medal race after finishing fourth in Friday’s heat when Cillin Greene, Phil Healy, Sophie Becker and Chris O’Donnell posted a time of 3:12.88 – a new national record.

Ireland's Cillin Greene during the 4x400m Mixed Relay Final (Image: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

They would have finished second however the Dominican Republic and United States were reinstated having originally been disqualified.

The two reinstated nations went on to take silver and bronze respectively in today’s final as Ireland finished in 3:15.04.

There was more success on the golf course however, with both McIlroy and Lowry in with a chance of a medal after impressing in Round Three earlier on Saturday.

McIlroy recorded six birdies as he shot 67 to move 11 under, leaving him tied for fifth, while Lowry (-10) is joint ninth after shooting a 68.

American Xander Schauffele leads the way on 14 under, while Great Britain’s Paul Casey (-12) is in a tie for third.

Lowry is expected to tee-off at 2.36am IST/BST on Sunday, with McIlroy getting underway shortly after.