Ireland hockey team put in an impressive performance on Saturday against to secure a 2-1 victory over England in front of a full stadium in UCD.
The match kicked off today with high tempo from both teams looking to get an early lead. Ireland secured their first penalty corner when Conor Harte displayed his overhead talent setting up Mikie Watt but the ensuing PC was charged down by Henry Weir and two further PC’s ensued but Shane O’Donoghue and Conor Harte’s attempts were both denied.
England’s best chance came in the 15th minute when Barry Middleton & Mark Gleghorne combined but David Harte in goals snuffed out the chance. A minute later Mark Gleghorne had space for a shot on goal but his strike went off target. England broke the deadlock in the 31st minute Ashley Jackson dragging low to put his side 1-0 before half time.
Ireland opened with pace after the break scoring in the 41st minute Shane O’Donoghue with the long corner run and Mikie Watt on hand to smash home from close range to make it 1-1. Three minutes later Maurice Elliott almost made it two after a great ball in from Conor Harte but the chance went wide.
The next couple of minutes saw England with chances including a penalty corner chance but Maurice Elliott was out quickly to deflect away and the score remained one a piece. Ireland’s strikers Mikie Watt and Timmy Cockram combined with some lovely play to put Ireland back in attacking mode but it wasn’t until three minutes from the end of time when Ireland scored the winning goal thanks to Mikie Watt converting from a penalty corner switch to Conor Harte who deflects from the P spot making it Ireland 2 England 1 – the icing on the cake being it was Mikie Watt’s 50th international goal
Commenting after the match Coach Ned Fulton said “It was an improvement on yesterday’s game we had a good start. The belief in the group was strong and we were able to execute the chances we created as well as defending well. I was very proud of the performance, but we still have work to do and we look forward to next week.”
Ireland play in the Investec London Cup starting this Wednesday at the Olympic Park in London – the team is expected to be announced on Monday.
Starting XI IRELAND: David Harte; John Jackson; Ronan Gormley; Michael Watt; Kirk Shimmins; Mitch Darling; Timmy Cockram; Michael Robson; Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte; Shane O’Donoghue
Reserves; Johnny Bell; Maurice Elliott; Peter Caruth; Stephen Cole; Bruce McCandless; Drew Carlisle David Fitzgerald
Starting XI ENGLAND: George Pinner; Oliver Willars; Henry Weir; Ashley Jackson; Harry Martin; Alistair Brogdon; Mark Gleghorne; Barry Middleton; Iain Lewers; Nick Catlin; Dan Fox;
Reserves: Andrew Bull; Simon Mantell; Phil Roper; Adam Dixon; Patrick Smith; David Condon; Tom Carson.