Impressive Start to Summer Internationals for Senior Men

Ireland 5 (S O’Donoghue, M Nelson, C Harte, B Walker, E Magee) USA 0.

The summer of International hockey got off to a great start at Serpentine Avenue on Friday evening as an impressive Ireland team overcame the USA 5 -0 in the 1st of a 2-match series.

In ideal conditions the opening exchanges were evenly matched with neither side asserting early dominance. Ireland got on the scoresheet in the 13th minute however through a Shane O’Donoghue backhand shot from an acute angle. In quarter 2, not long after missing a good chance, Matthew Nelson was able to convert Ireland’s second goal via a neat low backhand deflection in 19th minute. Good interplay between John Jackson and Eugene Magee down the right flank saw Magee deliver the pinpoint cross for Nelson to finish.

The USA had several chances and good passages of play through the first half with the impressive Pat Harris pulling a lot of their strings in the centre of midfield.

In the 3rd quarter after the US had missed a gilt-edged goal chance Ireland unleashed one of their increasingly fast counter attacks. After a powerful 40 metre dribble by Matthew Nelson the ball fell to Sean Murray and his backhand shot was looping goalwards, Conor Harte was on hand on the back post to deflect it over the line for 3-0. Ben Walker then made it 4 – 0 in the 3rd quarter after a passage of fast passes resulted in him finding enough room in the US circle to get his low backhand shot away.

Eugene Magee scored Ireland’s fifth goal shooting high into the net after receiving a baseline pass. At this stage the game was a very open affair with the USA threatening to get on their scoresheet. Jamie Carr and the Irish defenders were up to the challenge to make key interventions when called upon. Aki Kaeppelar after intricate stick skills was able to produce a deflected chance for the US which Carr dealt with. Luke Madeley had a goal line save at this point from a straight drag flick from a USA penalty corner.

The Irish defence were able to keep a clean sheet with Paul Gleghorne putting his body on the line of a goal bound shot in the last 30 seconds. Pat Harris was the standout player for the USA and Ireland had many strong performances with Eugene Magee again displaying the attacking ability that has helped earn him 278 caps so far for the Green Machine. But it was an impressive team performance from Ireland with solid defensive structure and strong counter attacking skill and intensity further up the pitch.

The evening was capped off in a very enjoyable manner with a large number of young players being treated to a skills clinic on the pitch with the entire Ireland team and coaches after the match. This experience will live for a long time with the many youngsters who participated, and many thanks must go to the Ireland team and management for facilitating this.

The Irish Senior Men’s next match will take place on Sunday May 26th at 12 noon v USA at Pembroke Wanderers HC.

These matches are excellent preparation for the Men’s FIH Series Finals in Le Touquet coming up in June. In the meantime the Men’s team will also take on France on June 4th and 6th in Lisnagarvey. There will also be an open training session for media and fans to attend on Friday the 31st of May in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, from 16:00 to 17:30.

To find further information on the FIH Series Final tournament in Le Touquet this June, or purchase tickets, please see: //

Ireland; Carr J (GK), Jackson J, Bell J, Bell M, Madeley L, Nelson M, Magee E, Glassey N, O’Donoghue S, Murray S, Robson M, Walker B, Walsh D, Gleghorne P, Harte C, Cole L, Ingram M (GK), Cole S.

Team Manager: Kidd G

Stand-In Manager: Kelly R

Assistant Coach: Weusthof R

Assistant Coach: de Jager K

Physiotherapist: McCallion C

USA; Klages J (GK), Barminski M, Sundeen T, Harris P, Miller A, Montilla A, Holt W, Dhadwal A (C), Barratt T, Kaeppler K, De Angelis C, Harris S, Singh P, Cicchi S, Orozco J, Kaeppeler A, Huisman D, Gandhi M, Wisselink D(GK).

Team Manager: Mazzalupi H

Head Coach: Wiese R

Assistant Coach: Wijzenbeek P

Physiotherapist: van Ark H

Match Officials

Rob Argent

Malcolm Coombes

Technical Officials

David Acheson

Erica Porter

David Wolfe