Ire v Netherlands, Men’s Euro Hockey Champs Match Report

Men’s Pool B: Ireland 3 (S O’Donoghue 2, T Cross) Scotland 3 (K Bain 2, C Falconer)

A heroic late fightback saw Ireland salvage what could be a crucial point in their Belfius EuroHockey Championships campaign, coming back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Scotland in Antwerp.

Men’s Pool B: Netherlands 5 (B Kellerman 2, M Pruijser 2, S van Ass) Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue)

Ireland’s men fell to a tough opening 5-1 loss to the reigning champion Netherlands at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp.

They fell 3-0 behind in the first eight minutes to a fired up Dutch side and while they fought back well in the second and third quarters, the world number two side were too strong.

In the first three minutes, Seve van Ass burst into the circle to pick out the top corner with an unstoppable reverse-stick shot; Ireland did call for a video review, feeling he used the back of his stick illegally but the goal stood.

Soon after, Mirco Pruijser was fed with his back to goal and he wriggled out of a tackle and pumped in a vicious shot. Bjorn Kellerman did likewise from further out and Ireland were left with a mountain to climb.

After the initial shell-shock, Ireland began to put some good phases together, most notably when Ben Walker clipped a foot for a penalty corner. Shane O’Donoghue did the rest with his 107th international goal with a low ripper past Sam van der Ven to give hope.

Eugene Magee then stung the palm of Sam van der Ven as the Dutch looked rattled, particularly when Jelle Galema was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes for an off-the-ball incident.

Some of the tackles the Green Machine put in at this stage were huge, stretching every sinew to stay in the contest.

Kellerman, though, got a killer fourth goal in brilliant style, a perfect strike while running away from goal with an upright volley. Mark Ingram made some outstanding saves, too, but could not keep out Mirco Pruijser’s perfect neat post touch in the closing quarter.

For Irish captain Jonny Bell, he admitted it was a tough day in the teeming rain, “We started very poorly and they caught us on the hop a bit, scoring those three goals. It’s a long way back from there but we did regroup and got one back. At times, we played up to the level required and there were good signs. But for long periods, we just weren’t on the money.”

Bell also praised the two goalkeepers – Jamie Carr and Mark Ingram – who shared the duties in the stead of the injured David Harte. “Both guys have been training with the squad a long time and we are lucky to have a pool of really good keepers. It was always going to be tough but the guys performed well and will kick on. Our tournament will start tomorrow; we will have to dress ourselves and respond.”

That is a reference to Game Two against Scotland at 2.45pm (Irish time) in their second game. The Scots lost 9-0 to Germany in the other group game in Antwerp but did push Ireland close in a two-game series in Glasgow last month.

“Always a huge battle. Any recent game has been a gritty affair and both teams will be up for it. We need to dust ourselves down, look at the errors we made and correct them.”

Ireland: J Carr, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte

Subs: T Cross, M Robson, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole, M Ingram

Netherlands: P Blaak, J de Geus, B Bakker, S van Ass, S de Wijn, S Baart, M Pruijser, B Kellerman, T Brinkman, J Janssen, M van der Weerden

Subs: J Hertzberger, L Balk, G Schuurman, D van Puffelen, J de Mol, J Galema, S van der Ven

Umpires: B Goentgen (GER), P Walker (ENG)

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EuroHockey Championships schedule (all in Antwerp; Irish times)
Men
Saturday, August 17: Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue Netherlands 5 (B Kellerman 2, M Pruijser 2, S van Ass)

Sunday, August 18: Ireland v Scotland, 2.45pm

Tuesday, August 20: Ireland v Germany, 2.45pm

Thursday, August 22: Semi-final or relegation pool match

Saturday, August 24: Final, Bronze match or relegation pool match

Women
Sunday, August 18: Ireland v England, 10.15am

Monday, August 19: Ireland v Belarus, 2.45pm

Wednesday, August 21: Ireland v Germany, 11.15am

Friday, August 23: Semi-final or relegation pool match

Sunday, August 25: Final, Bronze match or relegation pool match

Women’s International Squad Announced for Euro Hockey Champs

The Irish Women’s Hockey squad was unveiled early this morning for the Euro Hockey Championships which will get underway later this week in Antwerp.

After a strong training block together and several international training matches, the following squad has been selected:

 Name

1. Ayeisha McFerran

2. Roisin Upton

3. Nicola Evans

4. Katie Mullan (C)

5. Shirley McCay

6. Elena Tice

7. Gillian Pinder

8. Bethany Barr

9. Chloe Watkins

10. Elizabeth Colvin

11. Nicola Daly

12. Hannah Matthews

13. Elizabeth Murphy

14. Sarah Hawkshaw

15. Anna O’Flanagan (VC)

16. Zoe Wilson

17. Deirdre Duke

18. Alison Meeke

Speaking on the squad selection Head Coach, Sean Dancer, said, “We have had a good preparation period leading into this competition, with the opportunity to push and develop our squad with a number of International games.

Our selection has plenty of experience and we will be expecting them to stand up when it counts and make the most of our opportunities.

The Euro Hockey Championship is an excellent competition with Olympic qualification for the winner, this is a great challenge that our group is looking forward to.”

Vital World Ranking points are at stake for all teams in this tournament as the Olympic Qualification process heats up. The Green Army will take on England, Germany and Belarus in Pool B of the Championship with their opening match against England taking place on Sunday 18th of August at 11:15 local time.

All Euro Hockey Championship matches will be streamed live on EuroHockeyTV at: https://www.eurohockeytv.org/en-int/schedule

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For more information on the Belfius Euro-Hockey Championships, see: http://www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/

The full match schedule can be found at http://www.belfiuseurohockey.com/en/calendar/