Green Machine take small psychological edge into Euros

Men’s senior international test match

Scotland 1 (A Forsyth) Ireland 2 (J Duncan, B Walker)

The Green Machine will take a small psychological edge into next month’s Europeans as they edged a 2-1 win in their second meeting this weekend in Glasgow.

It was a special day for John Jackson who became the third Irish player to reach 250 international games after Ronan Gormley and Eugene Magee; Michael Robson reached the 100 cap mark, too.

Ireland opened up well with a cracking ball in by Jackson deflected onto a foot which led to a corner which Lee Cole dragged over the bar. Jeremy Duncan also drew a good save from David Forrester, a reaction stop to his left, before getting to his feet and diving to his right to save the rebound.

Alan Forsyth holds off Jeremy Duncan and Paul Gleghorne. Pic: Duncan Gray

Aidan McQuade then had a penalty corner well saved for Scotland, before a follow up penalty corner gave the hosts the lead. Alan Forsyth popped up with the strike from a rebound at a tight angle to make it 1-0.

Early in the second quarter, Michael Robson crashed one in on his reverse which Jeremy Duncan deflected into the top left corner, getting in front of two defenders for the touch.

Shane O’Donoghue almost nicked in for a second a minute late when he intercepted from the Scottish centre backs and drew a save.

Callum MacKenzie came close for Scotland when he unleashed a fierce shot from a penalty corner rebound, but it zipped over the bar while a three on two counter-attack was broken up by Jonny Bell.

Ireland took the lead early in the second half with a clinical finish into the bottom right corner by Benjamin Walker  after O’Donoghue robbed possession once again and created the opening.

It proved to be the winner in a lively half hour with Michael Robson blocked out at the near post and Daragh Walsh unlocked the door for O’Donoghue who shot into the sideboard.

Scotland had a flurry of late corners which Ireland survived and they almost grabbed a late winner with O’Donoghue rounding the goalkeeper but his flicked effort was brilliantly picked out of the air by Murray Collins chasing back.

The sides will next meet in the all-important European Championships group game in Antwerp on August 18. Before that, Ireland will travel to Spain to take part in a four nations tournament against Malaysia, Spain and England.

Scotland: D Forrester, T Atkins, C Duke, M Bremner, A Bull, A Forsyth, L Morton, C Golden, A McQuade, D Riddell, E Greaves

Subs: H Galt, R Harwood, C Falconer, G Byers, M Collins, C MacKenzie, T Alexander

Ireland: M Ingram, J Jackson, J Bell, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole

Subs: M Bell, T Cross, M Nelson, K Shimmins, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, D Fitzgerald

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