Six Nations tournament, Valencia
Ireland 0 Germany 2 (M Fuerste, T Herzbruch)
Ireland closed out their Six Nations series in Valencia with a 2-0 defeat to Germany with Moritz Fuerste and Timm Herzbruch scoring second half goals.
Nonetheless, it was a huge improvement from their May series in Hamburg against the reigning Olympic champions who won this tournament and have been showing serious form of late. Indeed, they scored four or more times in each of their other ties in Spain.
For Craig Fulton’s side, the result meant Ireland finished the series with two draws and three narrow losses from the tournament, showing a hugely competitive edge in this key Olympic preparation phase.
Speaking afterwards, the coach was pleased that his side “performed consistently well” against five sides ranked higher than them in the world.
The first half was a tight affair. Germany held the majority of the ball, probing around the fringes of the 23m line and the circle but got little change from the Irish defence.
Jamie Carr made a couple of solid stops, coolly repelling a Jonas Gomoll shot with his palm while he also kept out a Florian Fuchs effort on the run. Two corners were also repelled while Gomoll did have the ball in the net just before the quarter but it was disallowed for a dangerous high ball through the circle in the lead-up.
Germany hit the front in the 36th minute, though, from a contested corner, Ireland arguing the initial shot from Christopher Ruhr was back-stick. Moritz Fuerste dragged into the right corner.
From there, Ireland opened up as an attacking force. Kirk Shimmins tested Andreas Spack’s reflexes with a shot from the top-right of the circle.
He was also instrumental in tearing down the left sideline, riding a tackle from Niklas Wellen – one which drew him a yellow card once the advantage had been played. His cross was arrowed towards a sliding Alan Sothern but Fuerste reached out a stick to tip it out of his path.
Germany, though, killed off the tie when Fuchs and Oskar Deecke combined to steal the ball in the left corner. The cross took a ricochet which wrong-footed the defence and Timm Herzbruch picked up the pieces to shoot passed Carr.
The side face a quick turnaround now, flying to Cork this evening ahead of a tie with the Netherlands at 7pm on Monday evening at the Mardyke.
Ireland: J Carr, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, J Jermyn, E Magee, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: J Bell, G Watkins, A Sothern, K Shimmins, M Bell, M Robson,
Germany: A Spack, M Muller, L Butt, M Haner, T Hauke, C Ruhr, O Korn, M Zwicker, M Fuerste, F Fuchs, N Wellen
Subs: J Gomoll, O Deecke, C Wesley, T Herzbruch, T Grambusch