Ireland and Germany share spoils in first test at Pembroke

Men’s international test match
Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue) Germany 1 (D Linnekogel)
Ireland picked off a strong 1-1 draw against world number five side Germany at Serpentine Avenue in front of a healthy crowd in the first of their two tests.

The two goals came deep into the final quarter with Shane O’Donoghue’s penalty corner drag-flick nicking a defensive foot en route to the net.

Germany replied, though, within a minute when a baseline attack down the right led to a melee with Dieter Linnekogel smashing the breaking ball through the Irish defences.

Ireland started the brighter of the two sides with both Peter Caruth and Jonny Bell sending crash balls into the circle but the final touch was missing.

The Green Machine got the first of the game’s penalty corners but a mistrap at the top of the circle meant O’Donoghue, earning his 150thcap today, was forced into a reverse shot which Tobias Walter saved.

Germany grew into the game as the half went on but Jamie Carr – in for David Harte who is still on club duty in the Netherlands’ finals – was in imperious form in the Irish goal blocking shots from Martin Haner and Julius Meyer.

Kirk Shimmins had the chance of the second quarter, albeit from a tight angle, as he found himself in on goal but Walter was quickly out to block the close-range shot. The half ended honours even at 0-0.

Carr continued his fine form as Benedikt Furk sent a rocket on the reverse but the Irish net-minder calmly palmed away. John Jackson and O’Donoghue set up a lovely give and go but as the latter wound up for the shot he was dispossessed.

Moments later, Stephen Cole sent a perfectly weighted pass to Shimmins as he broke through the defence, and his high shot forced Walter into another good save.

When the goals came, just a minute separated them with O’Donoghue’ coming in the 50th minute, Linnekogel’s the 51st.

Carr then produced the pick of his saves in the closing minute when a ball redirected off Chris Cargo’s thigh but the goalkeeper reacted brilliantly to get a glove on it.

It continues Ireland’s recent run of good results against the Olympic bronze medalists, following up a draw in last August’s European Championships and a 4-2 win at the Hamburg Masters.

Ireland: J Carr, J Bell, C Cargo, M Nelson, A Sothern, S O’Donoghue, M Darling, M Robson, P Gleghorne, C Harte, L Cole
Subs: J Jackson, M Bell, P Caruth, K Shimmins, O Magee, S Cole, D Fitzgerald

Germany: T Walter, L Windfeder, M Haner, N Wellen, D Nguyen, T Herzbruch, D Linnekogel, B Furk, A Boeckel, J Grosse, N Bruns
Subs: J Meyer, F Weinke, H Muller, T Hinrichs, N Bosserhoff, M Rothlander

Men’s international test match
Friday: Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue) Germany 1 (D Linnekogel)
Saturday: Ireland v Germany, 5pm, Serpentine Avenue

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