Ireland’s men got a measure of the challenge they need to overcome in Rio next August after a pair of losses to world number five side Belgium in Cape Town over the weekend.
Ireland were held to a 0-0 draw by Canada as goalkeeper David Carter produced a stunning performance to keep the Green Machine at bay in the face of a late onslaught in Cape Town.
Three final quarter goals saw Ireland beat Olympic rivals Canada for the second time this week, running out 4-2 winners in Cape Town.
Ireland’s women completed their time in Spain on a low note, falling to a 3-0 defeat to the Valencia hosts, losing the series 3-1 overall.
Ireland fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to keep their unbeaten run against South Africa going as Chris Cargo struck with six minutes left to earn a 3-3 draw in Cape Town.
Eighteen-year-old Zoe Wilson served notice of her talent as she fired home the winner for Ireland in a 3-2 win over Spain in Valencia in the third test of their warm-weather camp.
David Alegre’s late goal saw Spain continue their hoodoo over the Irish men’s team as they took the laurels 3-2 in the third test match of the tour to Cape Town.
Lola Riera’s 57th minute drag-flick saw Spain make it two wins from two against Ireland in Valencia though the performance from Graham Shaw’s side was a marked step up.
Ireland drew their second test against Canada with Timmy Cockram’s late goal cancelling out Matthew Sarmento’s earlier effort in Cape Town.
Spain ruthlessly cut past Ireland this evening in Valencia 3-0 in the first of four test matches between the sides as Graham Shaw’s new look side struggled to match their hosts tempo.
Goals from Shane O’Donoghue and Chris Cargo saw Ireland’s men begin Olympic year with a 2-0 win over Rio rivals Canada in their first of eight challenge matches.
These are exciting times for Zoe Wilson, who will make her senior international debut over the coming days when Ireland face Spain in four internationals in Valencia; she tells John Flack about what has been her time in the US.
Ireland’s men begin a series of eight international matches this afternoon against Canada at 4pm (Irish time) as part of their intensive warm-weather training camp in Cape Town; the women’s series in Valencia begins tomorrow
The vastly experienced Mitch Darling, Paul Gleghorne and Mikey Watt, FIH Rising Star nominee Shane O’Donoghue and Lee Cole have all been announced in the Irish panel for January’s warm-weather training camp in South Africa.
A quartet of US-based players have been added to Graham Shaw’s Irish senior women’s panel of 26 players for their upcoming warm-weather training trip to Valencia where they will take on the Spaniards five times between January 15 and 19.
Spain completed a clean sweep of their three-match series in San Cugat as they got the better of Ireland 3-1, adding to 3-2 and 3-0 wins earlier in the week.
Ireland were roundly beaten in game two of their three game series in San Cugat as Spain controlled matters for the vast majority of the tie.
Gareth Watkins scored on his first appearance for the Irish men’s national team since 2012 in their first test match of three at FC Junior against Spain, a 3-2 loss this afternoon.
Gareth Watkins is in line to make his first international appearance for a number of years following his inclusion in the Irish senior men’s panel for an upcoming series against Spain.
Nikki Evans and Emily Beatty were both on the mark as Ireland’s women ended their international schedule on a winning note with a 2-0 success over Scotland in Glasgow, earning them a share of their three game series.