Saturday, June 22, 2024

Hockey Pro League: Great Britain ease past Ireland to climb standings

London — A fourth win in a row for Great Britain men, a fourth successive loss for Ireland. While Great Britain meander through the Pro League field like a flat-race favourite (yes, the title is still on the cards), Ireland’s hopes of survival in their debut global league showing ended on Thursday night.

Once more, GB showed eye-opening movement, growing maturity, better circle penetration and goals. Sam Ward helped himself to another international brace in a 3-0 win and Paul Revington’s side will head into the weekend showdown against Australia and India in fine fettle.

With Spain beating Germany earlier in the day, Ireland’s journey in their first season in the top-tier ended before GB triumphed here, another result which underlined their growing Olympic credentials.

GB were dominant throughout, the young bucks again showing growing class and newboy Henry Croft offered another chance to show his potential.

Ireland had to be on their mettle from the off, Jamie Carr forced into an early block clearance. Shane O’Donoghue’s opening penalty corner then saw Toby Reynolds-Cotterill force a reactionary save which deflected off the crossbar.

Three minutes before the end of the first quarter, Ireland stopper Carr again had to block, but this time his left boot clearance found Ward, who slammed a forehand into the backboard.

Two minutes later GB mis-trapped another penalty corner chance, but the ball slipped to Phil Roper, who flicked home past Carr.

Pro League standings:

Midway through the second quarter, Zach Wallace pushed into a crowded circle and Ward directed past Carr. With Ireland having failed to score in three, the game was all but over.

In a tight final two quarters, Ireland were denied a goal after a late penalty corner, with 70 seconds left, was ruled out after referral.

Total Hockey


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