Hockey: Brave Irish just miss Dutch treat
Ireland threatened to cause a major upset against one of the game's major powers as they ran Holland close in Spain yesterday before losing 3-2.
With both teams in Seville for warm-weather winter training camps, the game was played in modest temperatures of under 10 degrees.
The Irish certainly seemed to find the climate to their liking as they raced into a 2-0 lead, with the Ulster pair of Timmy Cockram and Chris Cargo on target.
However, the world's fourth-ranked nation reined in Paul Revington's side and eventually ran out winners by the odd goal in five. The teams meet again this evening.
Meanwhile, Dublin YMCA underlined that their rise to the top of Leinster hockey is no fluke as they crushed Railway Union 5-2 yesterday at Park Avenue.
The away win, in the absence of 'keeper Iain Walker, who was on international duty, extended YMCA's unbeaten run in the league to eight games.
They have opened up a five-point gap on the chasing pack, though second-placed Glenanne have a game in hand. Yesterday's success was achieved on the foundation of a blistering start, as they went four up inside the opening 21 minutes.
By half-time, Cork import Johnny Bruton had racked up a hat-trick, suggesting that his recovery from groin and knee injuries is now complete.