Ireland defeated Spain and finished in 5th position in Europe to equal their best ever finish in a European Championships. This was a great performance against the World No. 5 Spain with two late PC goals from Lisnagarvey’s Timmy Cockram ensuring a 3-2 victory and the coveted 5th place in the top tier of European Hockey.
Ireland had to dig deep in the first half as Spain looked the more dangerous going forward and created more scoring opportunities in the half. The 1st goal of the game came in the 25th minute when Pau Quemada fired home from penalty corner. Ireland leveled matters in the 32nd minute Eugene Magee firing home also from a penalty corner. Ireland would have been the happier of the two sides going in level at the break.
Spain got their noses in front in the 42nd minute Captain Santi Freixa firing low to Hartes right from their 3rd corner of the game. Ireland only needed a draw to secure 5th, due to superior goal difference, remained patient and the longer the game went on the stronger they became. Ireland were back level in the 64th minute with Timmy Cockram PC low drag. Spain were rattled and two minutes later were down to 9 men with Tubau getting a Yellow card and within seconds Delas got Green. Ireland drove forward and after consecutive penalty corners Cockram fired home the winner in the 70th minute for a famous Irish victory.
Irish Coach Paul Revington was obviously delighted after the game and went on to compliment not just the 18 players with him in Germany but the extended group of players used throughout the season. The work they have all put in has been very rewarding and great for irish Hockey. They now look forward to the Olympic Qualifier with the confidence gained throughout the summer.
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1. Germany (EuroHockey Champions)
7. Russia (Relegated to the Championships II in 2013)
8. France (Relegated to the Championships II in 2013)
Ireland 3 (Timmy Cockram 2 64 & 70 mins, Eugene Magee 32nd min)
Spain 2 (Pau Quemada 25 min, Santi Freixa 32 min)
Ireland Starting XI: David Harte (GK), John Jackson, Ronan Gormley, Conor Harte, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, David Ames, Geoff McCabe, Timmy Cockram Mitch Darling, Michael Watt
Reserves:Chris Cargo, Joe Brennan, John Jermyn, Andy McConnell, Ian Sloan
Spain Starting XI: Francisco Cortes (GK), Santi Freixa, Sergi Enrique, Bosco Perez Pl, Alex Fabregas, Edrard Tubau, Roc Oliva, Ramon Alegre, Marc Salles, Manuel Terraza, David Alegre, Pau Quemada
Reserves: Miquel Delas, Juan Fernandez, Xavier Lleonart, Andres Mir, Marc Salles
Irish Women finish 6th in Europe
Three goals in the same number of minutes was the difference between the two teams as Ireland went on to win by 4-1 in their final game of the Euro Hockey Nations in Germany at 08.30 this morning. Italy had started the brightest and Irish keeper Emma Gray had to be sharp to deny the Italians taking an early lead. The first of the three goals came in the 17 minute after good patient build up saw Connery pass to Clarke whose first time shot went in of the palm of the Italian keeper for a 1 goal lead. Two minutes later after some lovely interplay Symmons finished beautifully for 2-0 and within a minute the third goal this time a Smyth drive is touched in by Connery from 2 yards past the helpless Lilliu in Italian goal. The Italians were shell shocked with Smyth and O Halloran having chances to extend their 3 goal margin. Italy almost got 1 back in the final minute of the half but McCarthy expertly cleared off the line with Gray beaten.
The second half saw Italy alot sharper with Gray making a excellent stick save in the 42 minute but from the resulting long corner the ball was played into the circle for Alessia Padalino to finish and Italy back into the game. Ireland had their first of 6 penalty corner in the 54min Watkins winning the foul. Symmons strike was well saved for a long corner which resulted in a glorious chance for Jacob from close in. Ireland forced 5 more corners in the last 6 minutes and from the final one and O’Flynn drag was saved but McCay rebounded at full stretch to force home and give Ireland a 4-1 victory.
After the game Muller said it was a closer game than the scoreline reflected and were fortunate to score 3 goals in quick succession. He went on to say he was delighted to finish with 2 wins and felt the girls played with less fear over the final 3 games.
Ireland 4 (Emma Clarke 17 min, Nicola Symmons 19 min, Aine Connery 21 min, Shirley McCay 68 min)
Italy 1 (Alessia Padalino 43 min)
1. Netherlands (EuroHockey Champions)
7. Azerbaijan (Relegated to Championship II in 2013)
8. Italy (Relegated to Championship II in 2013)