IRL Men narrowly lose to the Netherlands in Rourkela after strong performance

IRL Men narrowly lose to the Netherlands in Rourkela after strong performance




Ireland commenced their second round of games at Rourkela India with one of the toughest possible opponents. Last week when the two sides met in Bhubanswar the Dutch had won by 5 goals to 1 which in no way was a reflection on how well Ireland performed on the day.  Could the improved performances from the latter end of week one spill over into week two? That was the target for the coaching staff in today’s game.

In the first quarter a lot of what the Irish coaching team had been aspiring to achieve with the national side seemed to be happening on the field of play. The Dutch got the first penalty corner of the game, but Jip Janssen shot wide. Peter Brown had Ireland’s first real shot in anger in the 7th cutting into the semi-circle from deep to fire wide. Ireland took the lead from a penalty corner in the 11th minute. Shane O’Donoghue’s first effort was blocked, Matthew Nelson reacted fastest to the rebound and shot to the net. 1-0 Ireland. But just in the final minute of the first quarter the Dutch were awarded a penalty corner and this time Jip Janssen scored. Seve Van Ass almost made it 2-1 just before the hooter sounded at the end of quarter 1.

The Dutch started the second quarter strongly. They were awarded a penalty corner in the 16th minute. Jamie Carr saved to deny Jasper Brinkmann. A series of Dutch penalty corners followed. The Irish defended the first two but had no answer to the third which saw Jip Janssen score deflecting the ball off defender Ben Walker. Before celebrating his goal his first move was to ensure the Irishman wasn’t seriously hurt. Illustrating the excellent sportsmanship which permeated the match in the first half. Netherlands led 2-1 at half-time.

A succession of Dutch penalty corners early in the third quarter were unproductive and there remained only a single goal between the sides at the end of the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter Jamie Carr denied Netherland’s Jorrit Croon who was chosen as player of the match for this game at the end of the match.  There was a penalty corner awarded to his team. Joep de Mol fired wide from the resultant penalty corner.

After a good piece of buildup play by the Dutch in the 51st minute, Terrence Pieters passed to Croon who fired wide. A minute later Pieters won a penalty corner but Matthew Nelson ran out from the Irish goal and blocked the effort ad got a free hit out. Conor Empey dispossessed an opponent inside the Dutch half in the 60th minute but was tackled once he entered the semi-circle. Indeed, as the final hooter sounded Daragh Walsh was attempting to create an attack after receiving a pass from Sean Murray. After the game Player of the Match Jorrit Croon was very complimentary about how Ireland had played as was his coach.

It was one of the best performances from an Irish team in recent years and ended Netherlands 2 Ireland 1 .

Speaking to coach Mark Tumilty after the game he said:

“We have definitely made progress from block 1. We should have held on to the lead a bit better. Overall, we defended well, and Shane O’Donoghue was excellent but so were a few others. Matthew Nelson, we know what he is capable of and he showed that out there today against the #1 ranked team in the world.”

NETHERLANDS: Maurits Visser (GK),  Jip Janssen, Jorrit Croon, Terrence Pieters, Justen Blok, Derck de Vilder, Floris Wortelboer, Koen Bijen, Joep  de Mol, Max de Bie, Duco Telgenkamp  SUBS USED: Floris Middendorp (3mins), Seve Van Ass (4 mins), Jasper Brinkmann (4 mins), Guus Jansen (5 mins), Teun Beins(5 mins)

IRELAND: Jamie Carr, Luke Witherow, Luke Madeley, Tim Cross, Matthew Nelson, Daragh Walsh, Shane O’Donoghue, Sean Murray (C), Peter McKibbin, Michael Robson, Ben Walker SUBS USED: Ben Johnson (4mins), Nicholas Page (4 mins),  Conor Empey (5 mins),  Peter Brown (5 mins), Kevin O’Dea (6 mins)