Sunday 26 February 2017

Harte injury blow to Ireland's hopes

Ireland 6 China 0 World Hockey League Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland goalkeeper David Harte left the pitch on a stretcher
Ireland goalkeeper David Harte left the pitch on a stretcher

Ireland hit tournament whipping boys China for six in Antwerp to secure their place in the knockout phase of the Rio Olympics qualifier.

However, the victory was overshadowed by a nasty neck injury to captain and goalkeeper David Harte, who left the pitch on a stretcher after a lengthy delay about 20 minutes from full-time, Davy Fitzgerald taking over between the posts.

By that stage, the three points had already been secured thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sothern supplemented by goals from Peter Caruth, Ronan Gormley and Stevie Dowds.

Sothern should have had four but failed to convert a penalty stroke awarded after he was bowled over by the panicking Chinese defender.

John Jackson and Chris Cargo also spurned gilt-edged opportunities to heap further misery on China whose team has been in decline since hosting the Olympics in 2008.

Ireland's quarter-final opponents will not be decided until after they play Belgium tomorrow (5.00).

IRELAND - D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, A Sothern, S O'Donoghue, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte. Subs: J Bell, S Dowds, E Magee, P Caruth, K Shimmins, D Carlisle, D Fitzgerald.

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