Five-star Dutch see off Ireland in second test

Men’s Senior International Challenge match
Ireland 0 Netherlands 5 (V Verga, S van Ass, M Havenga, R van der Horst, S de Wijn)

The Netherlands ran up their second win in two days over Ireland in Stellenbosch as they proved too strong for a Green Machine playing their fourth game in five days.

It was a tie tinged with sadness as the teams observed a minute’s silence for Trevor Lorimer, father of Irish player James, who passed away. A stalwart member of Mossley hockey club, Trevor had recently managed Irish underage teams and was a true gentleman who gave so much to his sport.

The Dutch raced into a sixth minute lead when Valentin Verga got on the end of a rapid counter-attack. Seve van Ass, with an outrageous piece of skill on the endline, lifted in the second.

After that salvo, Craig Fulton’s side had their best chances, seeing a corner taken off the line while Mitch Darling, Eugene Magee and Jonny Bruton also had chances turned away.

But Martijn Havenga scored the Dutch third from a corner to dent Ireland’s good spell. Mikey Watt’s strike earned a corner which was also dealt with as they continued to create chances but the Dutch were more clinical.

Their fourth was contentious but Rob van der Horst played on as the Irish defence called for a dangerous ball. And Sander de Wijn completed the win from a raking long ball and a thunderous finish.

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