Ireland’s harrowing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands in Rotterdam last night has left a daunting path ahead of them if they are to reach a first World Cup since 1990.
New Zealand’s second half intensity put punished a lack-lustre Irish performance that showed the gap they still have to bridge to mix it at the top table of world hockey.
Ireland’s men’s hockey team begins their most important tournament since last March’s Olympic qualifier as they bid to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990; full preview featuring review of potential opposition, interview links and World Cup qualification info
Phelie Maguire admits that thoughts did persist that he might “not realistically get another chance” of playing in a top level tournament but he is now looking to shine having enjoyed a new lease of life in green since Andrew Meredith took the coaching reins.
Daniel Buser, Matthew Rollins and James Lorimer have all earned spots in Andrew Meredith’s 30-player panel that will convene for the preparations for June’s World League round three in Rotterdam.
A second Irish Olympic hockey dream went up in smoke within seven days as Belgium proved an all-round superior force in Kontich yesterday, barely offering a glimmer of hope in a comprehensive result.
Ireland’s women were left fretting the possible absence of top scorer Audrey O’Flynn for their all-or-nothing Olympic qualifying game tomorrow in Kontich, Belgium.
Both Alex Speers and Gene Muller described Ireland’s gritty 3-2 win over Spain as the best of their Irish careers as they moved Ireland to within one game of the Olympic Games.
The Hook’s minute by minute coverage of Ireland’s vital fourth game in the Olympic qualifiers. They face Spain at 3.30pm (Irish time) with victory assuring them of a place in Sunday’s final
Second half doubles from Audrey O’Flynn and Emma Smyth finally got Ireland over the hump of world number 30 side Mexico as they eventually ran out 5-0 winners against the minnows at the women’s Olympic qualifying tournament
The Irish men’s Olympic dream went up in smoke in agonising fashion as a free-in nine seconds from time found a feint touch, too feint for the umpire to initially spot, to hand Korea a last-gasp 3-2 win
Ireland’s women continued their excellent start to their Olympic qualifying campaign in Beerschot as their penalty corner routine yielded three flicks and three more points for the green army.
Ukraine saved their best to last as Artem Ozerskyi’s corner double handed them a first win of the competition and fifth place ahead of Chile, a side who beat them a day earlier.
Ireland’s women survived an early fright to get their Athlon FIH Road to London campaign underway with a 5-1 win over France in Beerschot, Belgium
Paul Revington paid tribute to an immaculate closing 15 minutes as Ireland grittily reeled in the Malaysian lead to earn the draw they merited to go at least one step further than four years ago.
John Jermyn hailed it “the most important” drag-flick he has ever scored. Should Sunday go to plan, his 60th minute ripper may not last too long at that status as Ireland now have a bumper, winner takes all shot at the Olympics.
Korea eased into the final of the men’s Olympic qualifiers as two early goals against Russia killed off the tie as a contest with plenty of time to spare.
Day of reckoning for Ireland as they face Malaysia for a final berth in the Olympic qualifiers; Russia and Korea start the day at 10am, Chile face Ukraine in a bottle of the table clash at 12.30pm
One of six survivors from Canada four years ago, Alex Speers and her Irish panel are taking nothing for granted as they begin their Olympic Qualifying tournament on St Patrick’s Day in Beerschot, Belgium
Irish assistant coach Arul Anthoni says the emotional element of facing his native Malaysia has dimmed over the past three years and will not be a major factor when the two sides clash in their vital Olympic qualifying date