Green Machine World Cup Comes To An End

Odisha World Cup, Bhubaneswar

Ireland 2 (Cargo, O’Donoghue)

England 4 (Condon, Ansell, Gall, Gleghorne)

Ireland’s World Cup journey came to an end tonight in a 6 goal clash with England.

It was a relatively uneventful opening half with England slightly edging the chances. The world number 7 side seemed content to pass the ball around their backline and wait for gaps to appear, any real ones were few and far between. Liam Sandford won the only penalty corner of the first half and Mark Gleghorne sent his drag flick high and wide of its target. England were tipping the possession scales slightly and they got the opening goal in the 15th minute as Will Canlan pulled the ball back from the baseline for David Condon to score from close range. A replay showed the English breakaway goal came courtesy of an unspotted foot but they took advantage as the Green Machine tried to track back to deal with the overlap. Ian Sloan had a chance to double his sides lead as he stumbled through a tackle but his shot went sailing over the crossbar as David Harte charged out of his goal. Shane O’Donoghue was a bright spark for Ireland, appearing all over the pitch, and trying to instigate an Irish attack through midfield but the English defence remained resolute in the opening half.

The game came to life in rip-roaring fashion in the third quarter with 4 goals in 3 minutes. Chris Cargo pulled Ireland level in the 35thminute following great link up play by Michael Robson and Sean Murray to get the ball into the circle. But less than a minute later Liam Ansell put England ahead again as he picked up a pass from David Ames on the edge of the circle and sent a rocket on his reverse into the net. But the Green Machine responded once again, this time O’Donoghue sent one of his penalty corner drag flicks past George Pinner to level the game again. But Liam Sandford sent a pacey sweep into the circle and James Gall got low to deflect the ball past Harte to give England a 3-2 lead. Ireland continued to increase the pressure and Cargo nearly drew the game level again as he pounced on a rebound from Alan Sothern’s drag flick but the ball went over the bar. Paul Gleghorne took his place as kicking back for the final few minutes as Ireland chased the required equaliser but in the end it was a final-second penalty corner from his brother Mark that ended the game and Ireland’s time at the Odisha World Cup.

Speaking after the fixture, head coach Alexander Cox said “This is painful, you never get used to losing. I wasn’t happy with the first quarter, we were on the back-foot but in the second half we turned it around and gave it our all. I think in every game this tournament we had an opportunity to get a result but in the end, we weren’t clinical enough. We tried; I’m proud of the players and how they conducted themselves, we gave it our all throughout the tournament. We just have to make sure the next time we are on the other end of the result”.

Starting: D Harte (captain), J Bell, C Cargo, A Sothern, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, M Darling, M Robson, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S Loughrey

Subs: M Bell, M Nelson, K Shimmins, S Murray, D Fitzgerald, D Walsh, L Cole

Fixtures (all times listed are local)

Ireland’s Odisha World Cup Fixtures:

30/11/18 17:00 Ireland 1vs2 Australia

4/12/18 19:00 Ireland 1vs1 China

7/12/18 19:00 Ireland 2vs4 England