Ireland 11 (S O’Donoghue 3, C Harte 2, S Cole 2, L Cole, M Nelson, L Madeley, B Walker) Singapore 0.
After a disappointing meeting with Egypt on Sunday the Irish Men’s squad picked themselves up to defeat Singapore 11-0. 26-year-old Shane O’Donoghue, Ireland’s all-time leading goal scorer, not only provided a hat-trick for himself by the third quarter but also surpassed the 100 international goal mark, making him the first Irish Hockey player to do so, as Ireland top Pool A and secure a semi-final spot for Saturday.
Shane O’Donoghue put Ireland on the scoreboard within the opening minute of the game from a penalty corner. The Irish Men dominated possession in the opening quarter with goals from Conor Harte and Matthew Nelson making it 3-0 to Ireland before the first quarter whistle blew.
The goals kept coming in quarter 2 with Magee and Walker passing around the Singapore circle to provide Stephen Cole the opportunity to finish. A backhand from Shane O’Donoghue gave youngster Ben Walker a chance to touch the ball into the goal to bring Ireland to a 5-0 lead.
Ireland continued to dominate possession throughout the match against a noticeably weaker Singapore, with another five goals in the 3rd quarter. O’Donoghue secured a hat-trick for himself by the third quarter and reached 101 international goals for himself for Ireland. Both Stephen Cole and Conor Harte managed to put away their second goals of the match, while Luke Madeley also got a drag flick from a penalty corner behind Singapore’s Sandran bringing the third quarter to a close with a 10-0 lead to Ireland.
After a sweeping move up the field and several shots at the goal, the closing minute of the game saw Lee Cole make the final result Ireland 11-0 Singapore.
Speaking on the result, Head Coach Alexander Cox said, “We knew we needed to score at least four goals today to top the table. We scored 11 which is a good result.
After the big disappointment of losing to Egypt we needed to show ourselves that we are capable of reaching the qualifier play-offs for Tokyo. We did that today. We did so because we were focused from the start and stayed focused until the end.
Now we need to prepare ourselves for a big game coming up.”
Today’s result means the Irish men have topped their Pool and will move straight to the semi-final stage on Saturday, with their opponent to be decided on Thursday from the 2nd Pool B v 3rd Pool A cross-over match. Saturday’s match will be live streamed on the FIH website at: https://fih.live/view/event/48386
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, B walker, D Walsh, C Harte, L Cole, S Cole
Subs: M Bell, L Madeley, N Glassey, M Robson, P Gleghorne
Singapore: B Asali, E Marican, J Grewal, D Vijayan, S Noor, A Zul’kepli, F Johari, M Cheong, B Kahar, N Ng, G Sandran,
Subs: W X Wee, A Ibrahim, N Kumar, Z Zulkarnan, H Vijayan, N Teo, S Muhammad