Dutch win 8th Women's World Cup field hockey title

Spain's Begona Garcia, right and Australia's Jodie Kenny vie for the puck during the bronze medal match of the Women's Hockey World Cup at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, Sunday Aug. 5 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Spain's Alicia Magaz celebrates scoring her team's first goal during the bronze medal match between Spain and Australia of the Women's Hockey World Cup at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, Sunday Aug. 5 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Netherlands' captain Carlien Dirske van der Heuvel lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Netherlands' captain Carlien Dirske van der Heuvel lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Netherlands' Malou Pheninckx , rightand Ireland's Chloe Watkins vie for the puck during the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
The Netherlands team celebrate winning the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
The Netherlands team celebrate at the end of the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Spain celebrate at the end of the bronze medal match of the Women's Hockey World Cup between Spain and Australia at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, Sunday Aug. 5 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)
Netherlands' Kitty van Male celebrates scoring her team's third goal , during the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between the Netherlands and Ireland, at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5, 2018. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)

LONDON — Ireland's first Women's World Cup field hockey final ended in defeat as the Netherlands retained the title with an emphatic 6-0 victory on Sunday.

Ireland, the second-lowest ranked country in the tournament, was unable to produce a fairy-tale ending at Lee Valley Hockey Center.

Goals from Lidewij Welten, Kelly Jonker, Kitty van Male, Malou Pheninckx, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker capped a dominant performance from the Dutch as they won the competition for a record eighth time.

The Netherlands team hasn't lost since the Olympic final two years ago.

This was Ireland's first World Cup since 2002, and its previous best result was 11th in 1994. Ranked 16th, Ireland topped a group including Olympic champion England and was first into the quarterfinals.

Graham Shaw's Ireland began brightly but did not manage a shot at goal until the final quarter and the Netherlands, which lifted the trophy on home soil four years ago, soon showed its superiority.

Welten put Alyson Annan's team ahead in the seventh minute, turning to hit a powerful shot through a crowded circle and past Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran at the near post.

Jonker found the bottom-left corner to double the lead in the 19th, while superb blocks from Irish pair Shirley McCay and Roisin Upton following penalty corners prevented further goals.

The free-scoring Dutch, who registered 29 goals in five matches to reach the final, put the result beyond doubt with two quick goals in the final stages of the second period.

Tournament top scorer Van Male smashed in her eighth of the competition from close range and, moments later, Pheninckx was allowed too much space to fire the ball high into the net.

Shaw called for his players to "be proud" at halftime but they were outclassed by the world's top-ranked team and powerless to stop Keetels tapping home a fifth and Van Maasakker adding another from a penalty corner.

Earlier Sunday, Spain beat Australia 3-1 in the bronze-medal match.

Spain went 2-0 ahead in 14 minutes with goals from Maria Lopez and Berta Bonastre.

Kathryn Slattery pulled one back for Australia in the 40th before Alicia Magaz extended Spain's lead in the 51st.

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