Men’s Indoor International Series – game one
Ireland 3 (M Crooks, R Patterson, R Canning) Scotland 7 (J Golden 3, C Golden 2, P Christie 2)
Scotland’s Golden boys made it a bittersweet return to indoor international action on home turf for Ireland after 34 years as the visitors landed a 7-3 win in the opening of three challenge matches at the Antrim Forum.
Cookstown’s Mark Crooks scrambled in an opener for Ireland in the second minute for a dream start but the Scots soon turned on the style.
Jamie Golden slotted a corner to level the game quickly and his older brother Cameron flicked in and Jamie got his second goal in quick succession to make it 3-1 in the fifth minute of a fast and furious encounter.
Stephen O’Keeffe was outstanding in this phase in the green goal but he could not keep out Cameron as the Golden brothers raced to reached their hat trick.
Ireland fronted up well in the second half with Rory Patterson’s smart finish cutting the gap while Ross Canning slotted a corner but two more goals from Patrick Christie and a peach of a finish from Jamie Golden meant the Scots were always out of range.
Reflecting on the result, Irish captain John Jackson said: “It’s bittersweet. To play any international hockey at this time is amazing, especially indoor which is such a special brand of the game and it is nice to showcase it in front of a home crowd.
“It was a step forward from when we played them two years ago in Santander and the new players have added something but we shot ourselves in the foot at times with some of our basics in the first two periods and gave ourselves a mountain to climb.”
The two sides meet again twice on Wednesday at 10am and 2pm.
Ireland: S O’Keeffe, M Crooks, R Canning, J Lynch, R Patterson, J Jackson
Subs: J Haycock, D Howard, O Kidd, C Robson, J Duncan, N Glassey
Scotland: G Mackenzie, M Ross, A McAllister, C Golden, G Amour, J Golden
Subs: J Stephen, P Christie, S Stewart, A Lochrin, A Wilson