IRL Men beaten by India in last game of first FIH Pro League adventure

FIH PRO LEAGUE Season 5, India



February 25, India: Ireland went into their eighth and final match of the India series against the hosts at the Bursa Munda International Hockey stadium in Rourkela. They went into this game on the back of a 7-0 defeat against Spain the night before still in search of their first points of the series. Having run the hosts India close to a 0-1 defeat hopes were high of possibly gaining that elusive point on this occasion.

Ireland dominated the exchanges in the first quarter and Jeremy Duncan created a chance which was deflected into the air, Peter McKibbin forced the ball over the line, but the umpire had already awarded them a penalty corner. The first one resulted in a second and that got deflected behind for a long corner. Ireland not taking at least one of those chances came back to bite them as India got two goals within 90 seconds.

Matthew Nelson was penalised in the 14th minute and from the resultant penalty corner India took the lead through Nilikanta Sharma. A minute later India were further ahead when a field goal by Akashdeep made it 2-0. It was 2-0 at the end of the quarter. Ireland had two penalty corners in a row overturned on appeal to the video umpire, there was no further scoring in the second quarter, and it was still 2-0 to India at half-time.

Manpreet set up Gurjant for a goal to put India 3-0 up in the 38th minute. India were close to getting a fourth in the 45th minute but Carr saved at point blank range. Ireland trailed 3-0 at the end of the third quarter. There was no further scoring until the final seconds when Jugraj Singh scored from a retaken penalty corner in the final minute 4-0 to India. Ireland notched up the eighth defeat after eight games.

After the game Ireland Head Coach Mark Tumilty said: “Good response from the players today. We created numerous opportunities which we couldn’t capitalise on while India proved to be clinical in our circle. While the result is not what we want it was a pleasing performance to end this block. Overall, it has been an excellent experience in our build up to Paris and the players deserve credit for how they have applied themselves against the world’s best teams.”

INDIA: Sreejesh PARATTU RAVEEN PRAV (GK), Jarmanpreet SINGH, Manpreet SINGH, Hardik SINGH, Gurjant SINGH, Madeep SINGH, Harmanpreet SINGH ( C), Sukhreet SINGH, Sanjay. Raj Kumar PAL, Amit ROHIDAS. SUBS USED: Amir ALI (5 mins), Rabichanrdra MOIRANGTHEM (5 mins) Akashdeep SINGH (4 mins), Jugraj SINGH (4 mins), Upadhyay Lalit Kumar (5 mins) Nilikanta SHUMAR (4 mins)

IRELAND: Jamie Carr (GK), Luke Witherow, Daragh Walsh, Kevin O’Dea, O’Donoghue, Sean Murray (C), Peter McKibbin, Jeremy Duncan, Michael Robson, Sam Hyland, Ben Johnson SUBS USED: James Milliken (GK) mins, Charlie Rowe (6 mins), John McKee (4 mins) Matthew Nelson (4 mins), Peter Brown (6 mins), Lee Cole (5 mins), Nicholas Page (4 mins)