Sunday 26 March 2017

Harte injury blow to Ireland's hopes

Ireland 6 China 0 World Hockey League

Ireland goalkeeper David Harte left the pitch on a stretcher
Ireland goalkeeper David Harte left the pitch on a stretcher
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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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