Brave Harte hopes to defy shoulder injury
Influential Ireland defender Conor Harte is hoping to play against favourites Australia in the World Hockey League in Antwerp today (noon) despite a shoulder injury.
The Corkman left the pitch with his arm in a sling after taking a tumble in the early stages of last Sunday's 2-1 defeat by hosts Belgium.
But X-rays detected no break in the shoulder, and a decision on his fitness to take part in the remainder of the tournament is expected shortly before tip-off against the Australians.
The Irish need a top-five finish in the current tournament to earn an invitation to next year's Olympics.
A quarter-final victory against the world champions is a lot to ask. However, if they fail to pull that off, victory in their two concluding matches over the weekend would still secure qualification for Rio.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old midfielder Emma Smyth has announced her retirement from international women's hockey.
The stylish Railway Union stalwart has clocked up 140 caps since making her debut in 2009.
With Ireland narrowly failing to make the Olympic grade at the recent World League in Valencia, she decided that it was time to call it a day.