Harte injury blow to Ireland's hopes
Ireland 6 China 0 World Hockey League
Published 27/06/2015 | 02:30
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.