Ireland were left to reflect on a frustrating evening in Bhubaneswar as China’s compact gameplan saw them cling on for a draw, leaving the Green Machine to go down to the wire on Friday against England.
Having seen their plans of an ambush against world number one side Australia fall just short, Ireland’s men now assume the opposite role as they look avoid the trap laid by China today in their second World Cup group game (1.30pm, BT Sport).
Shane O’Donoghue’s record equaling 93rd international goal was not quite enough as Ireland made life incredibly awkward for the world number one side but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Australia coach Colin Batch says his side won’t be underestimating world number 10 Ireland in their opening game of the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
While David Harte is by a distance Ireland’s most high profile men’s hockey player, there is the distinct possibility he is far more recognised in India than on home soil.
Jonny Bell says he has worked all the hours available over the last year to put him in position to continue being part of the Green Machine’s World Cup challenge.
Daragh Walsh says the Irish men’s team have already spent six months trying to get their stomachs ready for the World Cup in India in late November.
Luke Madeley is the bolter in the Irish men’s squad named for World Cup which gets underway in late November in India after his confirmation in the 20-player panel named by new coach Alexander Cox.
The Irish women’s team’s Olympic Games hopes received a huge boost as they were confirmed as one of the host nations for the next phase of qualifiers for Tokyo.
In one of Craig Fulton’s last games in charge of the Irish men, he witnessed fine goalkeeping displays from David Fitzgerald and Jamie Carr in a 2-1 win over Germany in the absence of David Harte.
For the Green Army’s most ardent and self-professed “hockey nerd”, Sunday’s final was like all of Ali Meeke’s Christmases rolled into one.
The Irish women’s hockey team have soared to eighth place in the world rankings, moving up eight places following their run to the World Cup final.
Ayeisha McFerran landed the World Cup goalkeeper of the tournament gong following her stunning World Cup, winning almost unanimous support from the panel of coaches and media.
Ireland’s most capped sportswoman Shirley McCay raised the possibility that she may no longer retire from international hockey following the Green Army’s run to World Cup silver.
Graham Shaw hopes the seismic publicity his Green Army troops created over the last two weeks in the Olympic Park can lay the base for “a changing moment” in hockey’s history.
A ruthless Dutch performance meant that Ireland’s groundbreaking run to the World Cup final ended with a tough 6-0 defeat to women’s hockey’s outstanding standard bearers.
Graham Shaw says there was a calm confidence in the camp prior to the World Cup semi-final as they scarcely believable run rolled on to the final courtesy of more shoot-out madness.
Gillian Pinder propelled Irish team sport into a whole new dimension, a first ever World Cup final of any description for a team field sport as their sublime shoot-out team prevailed against Spain at the Olympic Stadium in London.
“It all seems like a bit of a blur.” It’s not just a product of the reems of sweat fogging up Zoe Wilson’s glasses as the whirlwind of higher and higher ecstasy engulfed her and the Irish women’s team following their World Cup semi-final win over Spain.
The Irish hockey bandwagon rolls on. Over two days in London, the Green Army will have two shots at a medal on the World Cup stage, starting on Saturday at 2pm at London’s Lee Valley with a Sunday game for either bronze or gold.