Fighting draw gets Irish bid off to flyer
Ireland 2-2 Great Britain
The Irish men made an encouraging start to their bid for Olympic qualification as they drew with Great Britain in Antwerp at the World League tournament yesterday.
The British side, featuring Ulster players Iain Lewers, Mark Gleghorne and David Ames, made the stronger start and were two up inside the first quarter.
Gleghorne, whose brother Paul lined out for Ireland, had a hand in the second goal, though it was Chris Griffith who claimed the final touch past David Harte.
However, from then on it was the Green Machine which dominated, with a Kyle Good deflection on Mitch Darling's cross and a John Jackson volley providing the scores either side of the break.
In the end, GB were grateful for a last-minute save from goalkeeper George Pinner, keeping out a rising shot from Conor Harte as the teams shared the points.
Next up for the Craig Fulton-coached side is a match with Malaysia tomorrow (1pm) with China and hosts Belgium to follow in the days ahead.
The format in Antwerp is the same at the event in Spain where the Irish women went close to Rio qualification.
It has been confirmed that Ireland forward Nikki Evans sustained a broken jaw in Sunday's concluding defeat by South Africa in Valencia.
Ireland (v GB) - D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee, S O'Donoghue, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte. Subs: J Bell, A Sothern, S Dowds, P Caruth, K Shimmins, D Carlisle, D Fitzgerald.