Men’s Senior International
Ireland 3 (Michael Watt, David Carson, Shane O’Donoghue) Wales 1 (Peter Swainson)
Ireland defeated Wales by 3-1 in the first of the two test series against their Celtic neighbours, playing on Irish soil for the first time since July 2012.
Wales started the sharper of the two sides winning the first corner of the game in the seventh minute but the chance was well saved by David Fitzgerald. The hosts took the lead soon after when good work by Paul Gleghorne gave Michael Watt the easiest of tap ins to put Ireland in front.
They duly forced three corners in the first half, one of which David Kettle got down to save while Shane O’Donoghue was unable to direct the other two on target.
He also went close upon the restart with a great piece of individual play before Wales equalised in the 44th minute when a diving Peter Swainson beat David Fitzgerald from close range.
Conor Harte’s low drag-flick was saved by Kettle and, from a fifth and sixth corner, O’Donoghue was again denied but the lead was reinstated when Maurice Elliott nicked the ball off the Welsh defence to give Davy Carson the simplest of finishes.
On the final hooter, O’Donoghue found the bottom corner after a trio of set pieces to extend the final victory margin to 3-1.
Ireland will play Wales on Sunday, June 29 with a 3pm start at the National Hockey Stadium in UCD
Ireland: David Fitzgerald (GK), Michael Watt, Maurice Elliott, Bruce McCandless, Drew Carlisle, Mitch Darling, Timothy Cockram, Kyle Good, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Shane O’Donoghue.
Subs: John Jackson, Jonathan Bell, Kirk Shimmins Michael Robson, Stuart Loughrey, David Carson.