Despite four goals in two days from Shane O’Donoghue, Ireland concluded their pre-Olympic qualifying warm-up games with a pair of losses to world number five side Belgium over the weekend.
Despite a pair of Shane O’Donoghue goals that gave Ireland hope of a result, world number five side Belgium saw off Craig Fulton’s side 4-2 in Brasschaat in their latest World League 3 warm-up game.
Two in, two out for the last pre-World League 3 Irish 20-player panel as Tim Cockram and Stu Loughrey step out while Three Rock Rovers pair Jonny Bruton and Mitch Darling return for a two-game series with Belgium.
Canada clung on to a narrow 3-2 win over Ireland to earn their second win of the four-match series in Toronto, sharing this set of matches 2-2, completing the north American tour for Darren Smith’s side.
Anna O’Flanagan marked her 100th cap with goal to help Ireland to a second successive win over Canada in Toronto, seeing them take a 2-1 lead in the four match series.
Nicci Daly’s late goal saw Ireland earn their first win of their North American tour at the fifth attempt, beating Canada in Toronto in the second of their four match series.
Ireland’s men marked Eugene Magee’s 200th cap with a memorable comeback as they came back from 3-1 down in Lille to draw their second game of two this weekend.
Ireland fell to a 2-1 loss in their first test of a series with Canada at the newly inaugurated pitch at the University of Toronto where the Pan-American Games will take place.
Simon Martin-Brisac’s solo goal saw France claim the honours from the first of their two games with Ireland this weekend, running up a 1-0 win in Le Touquet as preparations continue for World League 3.
USA produced a strong a powerful performance to run up a third successive win by three goals to sweep their series at Spooky Nook, Pennsylvania.
Ireland’s women fell to a second successive 3-0 defeat at the hands of the USA at Spook Nook, Pennsylvania, succumbing to a high press that they never fully got to grips with.
Kyle Good and David Harte have returned to the Irish senior men’s panel following the conclusion of their club seasons in Belgium and the Netherlands, respectively.
World number fives, USA, showed a clean set of heels to Ireland in their first match of three in Pennsylvania, managing a lightning-delayed tie at Spook Nook in smoother fashion.
Darren Smith has announced he will step down as Irish senior women’s coach at the end of World League Round 3 in Valencia in June, the key qualifier for the Olympic Games, to return to his native New Zealand to be with his family.
Ireland succumbed to a second half German onslaught to end their two-match series in Krefeld with a 6-2 loss. Jonny Bruton’s pair of first half goals had seen Craig Fulton’s side level at 2-2 toward the end of the first half but four goals saw the Olympic champions racing out of sight.
Two goals in the closing four minutes saw Olympic champions Germany spoil Ronan Gormley’s 200th cap as they came from 2-1 down to beat Ireland 3-2 in Krefeld.
Ronan Gormley is set to become the first Irish man to reach 200 international caps when he lines out for the national team against the Olympic champions, Germany, next Monday in Krefeld.
Craig Fulton has named a panel closing in on 40 names to pick from for the coming months as the Irish men plot their assault on an Olympic ticket.
Irish coach Darren Smith has named a squad of 20 to travel to the USA and Canada where they will play seven test matches in their final preparations for World League Round 3 in Valencia in June where the Olympic places will be decided.
Darren Smith’s Ireland side produced a thrilling late comeback to earn a second successive draw against Italy at Jordandstown, coming from 3-0 down in the closing 10 minutes.