Ire­land fin­ish World Cup warm-up tour­na­ment with win

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports - STEPHEN FINDLATER

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.

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