IRELAND 5 WALES 2
Ireland came back into the series with an emphatic victory over Wales in the second game of the three game series.
Ben Walker had two chances in the first three minutes of the opening quarter of the second game in the Ireland -Wales series at Comber Road. Ireland took the lead a few minutes later. Luke Madeley’s free was shot to the net by Johnny McKee in the 8th minute. 1-0 to Ireland. Wales had a succession of short corners in the final minute of the first quarter. Jamie Carr made a point blank save from the first one. The next one hit an Irish foot producing a third. This one deflected off an Irish stick forcing Carr to palm it over the bar at the expense of a long corner. Having withstood all the Welsh pressure it remained 1-0 to Ireland at the end of the quarter.
A succession of penalty corners for Ireland in the second quarter from the 23rd minute on resulted in a penalty stroke being awarded and Lee Cole made no mistake 2-0 to Ireland. Wales had a number of circle entries between then and the rest of the quarter, without creating any clear cut opportunities. It was 2-0 at the half time break.
In the third quarter it was honours even early on. Ireland were awarded a penalty corner in the 35thminute which was saved by Wales goalkeeper Reynolds-Cotterill at point blank range. Wales forced two penalty corners in succession which produced a shot wide of the post from Jacob Draper. But their pressure finally paid off on 39 minutes when Fred Newbold shot to the net following a succession of penalty corners to get Wales on the scoreboard. 2-1. Ireland increased their lead in the final minute from a penalty corner won by captain Sean Murray. Conor Harte converted the 44thminutepenalty corner into the net to leave Ireland leading 3-1 going into the final quarter.
Ireland forced two penalty corners in a row in the 49thminute. The second of which was dispatched to the back of the net by Luke Madeley for his second goal of the game to leave Ireland 4-1 up.
Wales were awarded a penalty corner a minute later when captain Sean Murray was green carded. A second penalty corner followed for the visitors but it resulted in a shot wide of goal. Ireland put the result completely beyond doubt in the 54thminute when Lee Cole Harte converted a penalty corner to make the score 5-1.
Goalkeeper David Harte made a welcome return to International hockey , after an absence of four years late in the fourth quarter and almost his first task was picking the ball out of the net as Owain Dolan Gray got a last minute consolation goal for Wales .
Speaking after the game Ireland coach Mark Tumilty said ,“The most pleasing thing about today’s game was the performance. We adjusted our press from the previous game. I was pleased with our attacking play. We were much better from corners. We have options. I am happy with where we are with penalty corners. I am pleased to get the win. It’s important to get the winning mentality ahead of the European Championships later this month. There is more in this group and we have to go again tomorrow for the final game in the series”.
IRELAND: Jamie Carr, Luke Madeley, Peter McKibben, Lee Cole, Charlie Rowe, Jonathan Lynch, Jeremy Duncan, Jonathan Lynch, Nick Page, Sean Murray (Capt.), Conor Empey, Ben Walker. SUBS: David Harte (GK), Conor Harte, Sam Hyland, Kevin O’Dea, Johnny McKee, Ben Johnson
WALES: Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, Daniel Kyriakides, Jacob Draper, Rupert Shipperley (Capt.), Rhodri Furlong, Stephen Kelly, Jolyon Morgan, Jack Pritchard, Hywel Jones, Gareth Griffiths, Fred Newbold. SUBS: Dewi Roblin (GK), Alf Dinnie, Rhys Bradshaw, Michael Wood, Owain Dolan -Gray, Benjamin Francis, Luke Hawker