Men’s International Challenge match
Ireland 6 (T Cockram 2, R Sykes, J Bruton, P Maguire, J Lynch) Egypt 3 (A Abdel Hakim 2, A Ezz)
Phelie Maguire celebrated his 100th cap with a top-corner strike as Ireland claimed a free and easy 6-3 win over Egypt at Belfield, claiming their three game series 2-1.
His was Ireland’s fourth as Timmy Cockram and Richard Sykes both polished off penalty corners before Jonny Bruton pounced on a loose ball to bang home for 3-0 in the 27th minute.
Ahmed Abdel Hakim got one back before the break, his pull-back finding a defensive stick to guide the ball into the backboard. But two goals in the 40th minute put the result beyond doubt. Maguire picked out the top corner from the edge of the shooting circle with a floating reverse and Jason Lynch swept in from the right side of the scoring zone after Bruce McCandless’ surging run had clipped the inside of the post.
Ahmed Ezz and Timmy Cockram exchanged corner goals to make it 6-2 before Abdel Hakim closed out the scoring with six minutes to go.
It was also a night to remember for Clinton Sweetnam, becoming the fifth new Irish cap this week while Graham Shaw took charge of the team for the first time as head coach Paul Revington is already in France preparing for the Champion’s Challenge.
Ireland: I Walker, P Brown, M Maguire, P Maguire, T Cockram (capt), R Flannery, J Lynch, B McCandless, D Carson, R Sykes, M Darling
Subs: S Dowds, S Cole, J Bruton, C Sweetnam, K Good
Earlier in the day, Ireland’s U-18 girls came from a goal down to win the first of their three games with France this weekend. Emily Beatty made the game level in the first half before an excellent Rebecca Barry touch gave the girls in green the lead, deflecting high past the French goalkeeper.
Roisin Upton powered home a drag-flick for 3-1 before Katie Froeling slammed home from Beatty’s square ball after the Alex student nipped in to steal a loose free out. And the Dutch-based Froeling – who qualifies for Ireland through her mother’s Carlow roots – zipped home an excellent corner to complete the win. The two sides are back in action on Saturday at 5pm at Belfield.
U-18 Girls international: Ireland 5 (A Froeling 2, E Beatty, R Barry, R Upton) France 1