Ireland hold nerve in shootout to sink England
Ireland 2-2 England
(Ireland win 4-3 in shootout)
Ireland held their nerve in a shootout to beat England for the second time at the Four Nations Tournament in Valencia.
The Green Machine edged past the same opponents six days ago thanks to goals from Daragh Walsh and Mitch Darling, and they just found enough to win again on Sunday morning to end the tournament on a high.
They were hammered against the Netherlands last time out but this was a welcome boost.
There was nothing to separate the two sides for much of the opening half. Mark Gleghorne and the English defence were content to pass the ball around the back in search of an opening that rarely appeared.
Likewise, Ireland held the ball for long phases and sent crash balls into the English 23 but neither goalkeeper was really challenged.
The chance of the half fell to James Gall as he took advantage of Conor Harte slipping but his shot was forced wide with good pressure from Michael Robson and David Fitzgerald.
The game came to life in the second half with two goals inside the first six minutes. Barry Middleton broke down the right-hand side and sent the ball across the circle for Zachary Wallace to score at the back post.
But minutes later and Eugene Mageeâs deflection levelled it up following a superb pass from Michael Robson. Ireland appeared to have the upper hand and won two penalty corners in quick succession, the latter of the two resulting in a disallowed goal.
England were perhaps lucky to take the lead in the 49th from a penalty corner drag by Luke Taylor as the ball didnât appear to leave the circle on the pushout. But Sean Murray drew the game level again in the 56th minute with a close-range shot following a great run and pass by Shane OâDonoghue.
A last-gasp penalty corner drag from OâDonoghue was well saved from George Pinner to keep to the game at 2-2 when the final whistle sounded, sending the game to a shootout to decide the final placings.
Magee, Alan Sothern, OâDonoghue and Daragh Walsh all got on the scoresheet to secure the victory, combined with two super saves from Fitzgerald.
Ireland: D Fitzgerald, J Bell (Capt), E Magee, K Shimmins, S OâDonoghue, S Murray, M Darling, C Harte, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey
Subs: D Harte, M Bell, M Nelson, A Sothern, M Robson, D Walsh, P GleghorneSource: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland