Six Nations tournament
Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, K Shimmins) Spain 2 (P Quemada 2)
Ireland picked up their first point of the Six Nations tournament in Valencia but were ultimately frustrated as Pau Quemada’s drag-flick on the final hooter meant they had to share the spoils with Spain.
Quemada also scored in just the second minute from a set piece to give the hosts an early lead. The Green Machine had already won a corner of their own with barely ten seconds on the clock, Kirk Shimmins racing down the right before Shane O’Donoghue’s shot clipped a foot.The drag-flick was saved well by Quico Cortes. From there, though, Spain looked the more likely to add to their tally. For Ireland, their long balls from the back line to the forwards were not sticking with control a little bit off. It meant they had to hang tough at times with David Harte making some great stops.
Twice he kept out a marauding Roc Oliva as the red sticks put Ireland deep under the cosh. They regrouped, though, and has the best of it from the 40th minute on.
Kyle Good drew a poor back-stick challenge in the corner of the circle for a handy corner which John Jermyn used as a sighter, Cortes tipping over.
But the C of I man got Ireland back on terms with 16 minutes to go with his 90th international goal, a rocket to the left corner after Shimmins run and eventual shot clipped a foot.
Ireland then went in front with six minutes to go when Shane O’Donoghue read a long ball perfectly to intercept 35 metres out from goal. He picked out the unmarked Shimmins and he potted from mid-circle.
Spain were getting angry and saw Vincenc Ruiz and Sergi Enrique get greens before Salva Piera took a yellow card – all in the last ten minutes – but Jonny Bell’s yellow put Ireland on the back foot late in the game.
It looked like Craig Fulton’s side were closing in on victory but conceded a corner seven seconds from the end and the lethal Quemada tied things up.
Ireland sit sixth in the table with Saturday’s opponent’s New Zealand fifth after their 1-0 win over India. Germany and Argentina lead the group with both on seven points from three games following their 4-4 draw.
Ireland: D Harte, J Bell, R Gormley, M Watt, A Sothern, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Bell, K Good, P Gleghorne
Subs: J Jackson, G Watkins, J Jermyn, P Caruth, M Robson, C Harte
Six Nations tournament, Valencia (times GMT):
Thursday: Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, K Shimmins) Spain 2 (P Quemada 2)
Saturday: Ireland v New Zealand, 9am
Sunday: Ireland v Germany, 9am