Ireland finish World Cup warm-up tournament with win
Ireland finished off a gruelling five games in seven days in Valencia, Spain, on a high with a shoot-out win over England to finish third in their Four Nations World Cup warm-up tournament.
Normal time had ended 2-2, with the English surviving a late onslaught to see it to shoot-out, but Ireland kept their nerve to win.
The first half saw little goalmouth action and ended scoreless. The second was far livelier, with England going in front via a Zach Wallace finish before Eugene Magee levelled, guiding home Michael Robson’s backhand shot in the 36th minute.
Luke Taylor restored the English lead, but Ireland hit back when Sean Murray chipped over George Pinner following an excellent Shane O’Donoghue burst from midfield.
In the shoot-out Robson missed in the first round but an otherwise perfect set, completed by a Dave Fitzgerald save and Daragh Walsh’s flick, won it 4-3.
Ireland’s next meeting with England is the important one on December 7th, when they play in their third group game in India.
The tournament itself was something of a mixed bag, with Alexander Cox knowing there is plenty to work on following his first competitive games in charge.