Tuesday 20 November 2018

Ireland hold nerve to beat English and finish in third position overall

Hockey

UCD are two points back following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Belfast Harlequins, Ellen Curran cancelling out Zoe Wilson’s penalty. (stock picture)
UCD are two points back following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Belfast Harlequins, Ellen Curran cancelling out Zoe Wilson’s penalty. (stock picture)

Stephen Findlater

Ireland's men bookended their high-intensity Four Nations tournament in Valencia with a second win of the week over England to finish third overall.

It gives them a big confidence-booster ahead of their meeting with the auld enemy in their World Cup group stages on December 7 in India.

Normal time had ended 2-2, with Eugene Magee and Sean Murray cancelling out goals from Zach Wallace and Luke Taylor.

They looked the more likely to nick the result in normal time, with three late penalty corners and another chance cleared off the English goal-line.

They held their nerve in the shoot-out, with David Fitzgerald saving twice, laying the base for Daragh Walsh to flick home the winner.

It backed up their 2-1 win over the English on day one. After that, it was a mixed bag of results, losing 1-0 to the Spanish hosts and 7-1 to the Netherlands.

A rematch on Saturday with the Dutch saw a vastly-improved performance to take a 2-0 lead, only to succumb to a 5-2 loss, with two goals coming in the last three minutes.

On home turf, Loreto scored the big result in the women's EY Hockey League when they ended Pegasus's 100pc record with a 2-0 win in Belfast.

Hannah Matthews gave the Dubliners an early lead from a penalty corner. Ali Meeke copper-fastened the win, moving Loreto level with Pegs at the top.

UCD are two points back following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Belfast Harlequins, Ellen Curran cancelling out Zoe Wilson's penalty.

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