Ire v Germany, Men’s Euro Hockey Champs Match Report

Ireland 0, Germany 5 (N Wellen, T Grambusch, M Hellwig, F Fuchs, L Windfeder)

A tough day for the Irish Men’s squad sees them defeated 5 – 0 by Germany in their final pool match of the Euro Hockey Championships in Antwerp.

Ireland had a promising start with Daragh Walsh securing a penalty corner for Ireland in the second minute of the game, but German keeper Aly was able to keep Shane O’Donoghue’s drag flick from crossing the line and putting Ireland on the score board.

Germany went on to score two goals from two penalty corners from Wellen and Grambusch in the opening quarter. Opportunities from Ireland came from Eugene Magee and Kirk Shimmins, but with both going wide and hitting the side of the goal the score remained Ireland 0 – 2 Germany.

The second quarter saw Germany dominate in the opening minutes, forcing Ireland to play defensively. Paul Gleghorne played well to prevent an opportunity for Germany when Ingram stepped left to defend one threat and the ball passed to his right towards Germany’s Ruhr not far from the goal line. A penalty corner to Germany in the final second of the quarter was well saved by Ingram to keep the score Ireland 0 – 2 Germany as the sides broke for half time.

Despite starting the defensively in the second quarter, Ireland gained momentum throughout and this was clear as the sides met again after half time.

Jamie Carr was on form with a number of excellent saves in the third quarter. A more assertive Ireland applying pressure saw a few missed opportunities; Sean Murray was able to find Eugene Magee with a chance which was sent wide again, while shortly after Magee found Robson nicely, who brought the ball to the circle and pushed to Tim Cross who slipped past it letting the ball go wide.

German defence was strong in the final quarter as Ireland secured two penalty corners, neither converting to a goal. Jamie Carr was taken off as Ireland attempted to put a goal on the score board by increasing their outfielder numbers. Germany continued to apply pressure and secured a further three goals in the final five minutes, with the last goal coming from a penalty corner which saw Lee Cole narrowly miss getting his stick to the ball to prevent the final goal.

“It’s a disappointing score line obviously”, said Men’s Captain Jonathan Bell. “We were in the game for large parts of the match, and we were still on the hunt at half time. Obviously two nil is a long way back when you’re playing someone like Germany, but if we’d got it to two one it could have been a different game.

“We pulled the keeper at the end to bring on an extra outfielder and they hit us with three goals which was tough on the score line.

“However, there were a lot of positives in the performance compared to the performance against Holland and we’ll have to carry that into the relegation pool. We’ll bring that energy and intent to those next two games. In tournament hockey your next match is always your most important match, so for us now it’s all eyes on the next game.”

The Irish Men now enter the relegation pool with Scotland and England. Wales will need to beat Belgium by 4 or more goals to avoid the relegation pool.

Next up, the Irish Women will take on Germany in their final pool game tomorrow at 11:15 Irish time, the Irish Men will take the pitch again on Thursday at 14:45 Irish time against the 3rd place finisher of Pool A.

Ireland: J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte, M Ingram

Subs: J Carr, T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole

Germany: M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder M Haner, T Herzbruch, C Ruhr, M Zwicker, F Fuchs, T Oruz, J Grosse, V Aly

Subs: N Wellen, D Nguyen, T Grambusch, D Linnekogel, F Wienke, T Walter, M Hellwig