Men’s Senior International: Ireland 2 (John Jermyn, Mitch Darling) Wales 2
Paul Revington introduced an increase of 849 Irish caps – across 11 changes – to his Irish team for the second of his side’s three-game series with Wales but the result was one goal less well off than the inexperienced outfit from Thursday night, leading to a 2-2 tie at Belfield.
After a couple of lively opening flurries from Ireland, the first half struggled to find much shape and it was the Welsh who carried the fight, winning a couple of corners and eventually netting their fourth in the 30th minute, taking a deflection past David Harte. And they extended the lead from a straight drag from another corner for 2-0 nine minutes into the second half.
Ireland raised their tempo and, on the counter, Mitch Darling pulled one back and they were level with 11 minutes to go when Jermyn broke through to slam into the back of the net to equalise at 2-2.
It was his 57th international strike, closing in on Stephen Butler’s national record of 79. Mikey Watt went closest to grabbing a winner on a couple of occasions late on but neither came off to leave Ireland settling for a draw.
Commenting after the match, assistant coach Arul Anthoni said: “I am very pleased with the chances we created and eventually converting a couple of opportunities in the second half. The game was played at a high tempo with plenty of two-touch hockey. We need to work to finish off the passes in the final third but we look forward to the third and final match and the players will be raring to go.”
The series comes to a close on Sunday with a 2pm tip-off in Belfield.
Ireland: David Harte, John Jackson, John Jermyn, Conor Harte, Joe Brennan, Tim Lewis, David Ames, Geoff McCabe, Mitch Darling, Phelie Maguire
Subs: Ronan Flannery, Tim Cockram, Eugene Magee, Andy McConnell, Bruce McCandless