Men’s Senior International Test match
Ireland 0 Belgium 3 (G Boccard, M Plenneveaux, J-J Dohmen)
Ireland fell to a 3-0 loss to Belgium in their fifth game in seven days in Cape Town this week, succumbing to the world number five side, Belgium, in the first of two games this weekend.
Belgium were fast out of the blocks and scored in the first minute from a penalty corner rebound via Gauthier Boccard after the initial shot had been well saved by David Fitzgerald in the Irish goal.
Ireland gradually played themselves into the first quarter with their best chance falling to Mitch Darling but he was denied the equaliser after a top class save by the Belgian keeper.
Paul Gleghorne defended well early in the second quarter to clear the danger from a dangerous Belgium attack while Eugene Magee and Darling combined well for a half chance before Belgium extended their lead from another corner rebound to be 2-0 after 27 minutes, Max Plenneveaux getting the goal.
Before the end of the quarter, a great chance fell to Mikey Watt but his shot flew over. Ireland were down to 10 when Jonny Bell got a green card just before HT.
The 3rd quarter was scoreless with Chris Cargo having Ireland’s best effort and Belgium, with some indiscipline, took some green cards.
Into the final chukka, a great run by Monkstown’s Peter Caruth led to last ditch Belgium defending to clear the danger. Ronan Gormley and Watt combined to win Irelands first corner but the drag by Shane O’Donoghue was saved and the rebound from captain John Jackson was cleared off the line.
Great work by Jackson gave Ireland another corner but it came to nothing and while Ireland were dominant in the final quarter, they couldn’t break through the Belgium defence.
With three minutes left on the clock a controversial stroke was awarded to Belgium which was duly dispatched by John-John Dohmen for the game to finish 3-0 not a true reflection of the game.
The teams meet at the same venue on Sunday at 12 Noon Irish time.
IRELAND: David Fitzgerald (GK), Mark Ingram (GK), Jonathan Bell, Ronan Gormley, John Jackson, Alan Sothern, Stephen Dowds, Eugene Magee,Kirk Shimmins, Bruce McCandless, Michael Darling, Paul Gleghorne, Shane O Donoghue ,Neal Glassey, Michael Robson, Jonny Bruton, Michael Watt, Drew Carlisle. Christopher Cargo, Peter Caruth, Kyle Good
Did Not Play: James Lorimer, Jonny Bruton, Alan Sothern, Neal Glassey.