Corner duo secure feisty win for Ireland

Men’s senior international challenge match
Ireland 2 (Shane O’Donoghue, Alan Sothern) Wales 0

Ireland’s men returned to home soil in confident form against Wales, winning both their ties over the weekend in what were their first games in Dublin in nearly two years.

Like Saturday’s game, the win was secured once again with a pair of second half goals, this time O’Donoghue shooting home a drag-flick in the 44th minute before Alan Sothern netted from a last minute corner goal for a 2-0 win.

Wales goalkeeper David Kettle moves to deny Mitch Darling Pic: Adrian Boehm

Wales goalkeeper David Kettle moves to deny Mitch Darling Pic: Adrian Boehm

The first half was a high tempo affair, though the majority of play came between the 25s with two was maintained in midfield with just a few chances from both sides. Wales had the one penalty corner to Wales in the 27th minute but a mistrap let Ireland off the hook.

Ireland came out in attacking mode after the break with plenty of free-in’s around the Welsh D. The hosts duly broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when Shane O’Donoghue converted his second drag flick in as many days to make it 1-0.

Wales had chances to level but saw a corner well saved by Stephen West to retain his clean sheet before Ireland secured a penalty corner ten seconds before the final hooter, this time Alan Sothern making no mistake and flinging it home.

Speaking after the game, coach Carig Fulton said: “It was a tough match, we struggled in the first half but we made some mental changes for the second half, picking up the tempo and we attacked much better in the second half deserving the 2-0 win.

“We will train during the week in preparation for the double test against England, we will have to make improvements and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The side will next be in action in a pair of challenge matches against World Cup semi-finalists England in Dublin on Friday and Saturday before heading off to the London Cup.

Elsewhere, the Irish women completed a productive tour to Italy with a 4-0 win in Mori, adding to the Tri-Nations title they won on Friday evening.

Ireland: S West, J Jackson, J Bell, M Watt, M Elliott, D Carlisle, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, S Loughrey, S O’Donoghue
Subs: A Sothern, P Caruth, K Shimmins, S Cole, B McCandless, D Fitzgerald, C Harte.

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