Senior International Challenge Matches
Monday: Ireland 2 (G Watkins, J Bruton) China 1 (D Yang)
John Bruton’s thunderous first international goal saw Ireland’s virtual second string notch an impressive 2-1 victory over China in a challenge match in Belfield on Monday night as the battle continues for the last few places in Paul Revington’s panel for the Champions Challenge which gets under way in Lille next Satruday.
He made 15 changes to the side that lost 2-1 last Saturday to Pakistan in the UCD Nations Cup final with only David Ames keeping his place.
Eugene Magee was also a welcome returnee, the Banbridge native back after a month on the sidelines through injury.
The greens trailed at half-time to Dong Yang’s drag-flick but Gareth Watkins finished off John Jackson’s pin-point cross. And Bruton smacked home a volley, his second touch after intercepting a loose overhead clearance to turn the game around.
Earlier in the day, a mix of Ireland A and U-18 players tied 0-0 with Egypt, Dave Fitzgerald putting in a superb performance between the posts.
Ireland: I Walker, M Maguire, R Flannery, P Gleghorne, E Magee, A McConnell, P Blakeney, J Jackson, D Ames, G Watkins, A Giles
Subs: P Caruth, J Bruton, J Lynch, R Sykes, D Carson
Tuesday: Ireland 2 (P Maguire, P Caruth) Egypt 0
Ireland began their three game series against Egypt with a 2-0 victory at Belfield in slightly scrappy fashion.
Phelie Maguire, in his 99th international match, broke the deadlock with a fine touch following some superb build-up from Paul Gleghorne and Jason Lynch early in the second half.
And Peter Caruth batted in the second with ten minutes remaining, volleying home after John Jackson’s cross had ballooned up off a defensive stick.
Egypt created plenty of chances throughout the game but found Dave Fitzgerald in imperious form, backing up a clean sheet a day earlier against the same opposition for an Ireland A selection.
Again, there were changes with Maguire and Fitzgerald brought in along with Joe Brennan and Bruce McCandless with Michael Maguire, Iain Walker, Gareth Watkins and Ames stepping out.
Ireland: D Fitzgerald, J Jackson, E Magee, A Giles, J Brennan, P Caruth, A McConnell, P Blakeney, R Flannery, P Gleghorne, J Bruton
Subs: R Sykes, J Lynch, B McCandless, D Carson, P Maguire