Men’s international test match
Ireland 1 (M Bell) Belgium 4 (F Denayer 2, A Hendrickx, F van Aubel)
Ireland fell to a 4-1 defeat to world number three side Belgium at White Star’s Evere venue in their penultimate warm-up before the World Cup.
Torrential rain fell for much of the fixture, making conditions not ideal for both sides. Belgium broke the deadlock in the opening half with a well-worked goal by Felix Denayer.
The Red Lions won several penalty corners in quick succession but a composed Green Machine defence dealt with the attacks. Denayer doubled his tally moments before the half-time whistle to make it 2-0 to the hosts.
It didn’t take long into the second half for Ireland to claw a goal back, Matthew Bell was quickest to a penalty corner rebound to make it 2-1.
Minutes later and Ireland had another penalty corner, this time Vincent Vanasch making a superb save and Florent van Aubel clearing off the line.
Alexander Hendrickx sent a powerful drag-flick goalward on the cusp of three-quarter time to give his team a two-goal cushion. The Green Machine notched up three penalty corners but Vanasch was in fine form, and van Aubel rounded out the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
David Harte was on the bench for the tie as an unused sub as he continues his recuperation from injury while Sean Murray earned his 50th cap on the day. Ireland are back in action on November 19 against the Netherlands in their final warm-up match ahead of their opening tie on November 30.
Ireland: D Fitzgerald, J Bell, M Bell, M Nelson, A Sothern, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, M Robson, D Walsh, C Harte, S Loughrey
Subs: C Cargo, E Magee, K Shimmins, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, L Cole, D Harte