The national teams of Ireland and Great Britain had a tough opening day at the Setanta Trophy in Dublin, Ireland. In the women’s tournament, Germany defeated Great Britain 2-1, while South Africa was stronger than Ireland 3-1. In the men’s event, Canada surprisingly defeated Great Britain 1-0, while Pakistan was better than Ireland 4-2.
Women: Germany – Great Britain 2-1 (1-0)
1-0 Natasha Keller 25, 1-1 Susie Gilbert 37, 2-1 Marion Roadwald 44.
In the opening game of the Setanta Trophy, the reigning Olympic Champions Germany ran out 2-1 winners against Great Britain in a game that had plenty of goal mouth action.
Germany started the stronger side winning four penalty corners in the first 12 minutes and piled on the pressure but were unable to beat Beth Storry in the GB goal. GB’s best chance of the half came in the 17th minute when Danson robbed a defender and was bundled off the ball whilst running at the circle. The resulting free hit was deflected just past the post.
Germany took the lead in the 25th minute when Natasha Keller shot past Storry into the corner of the goal after a well-worked open play attack, but GB had opportunities before the half to draw level with Charlotte Craddock looking the most dangerous forward shooting at goal on a number of occasions.
Britain came out strongly in the second half winning a penalty corner in the 37th minute which was eventually converted by Susie Gilbert for her first GB goal. Having scored, GB moved forward with more confidence but were down to 10 in the 40th minute when Rachel Walker received a yellow card. Whilst down to 10, Germany were able to take advantage with a long hit into the circle which resulted in the faintest of deflections by the German captain Marion Roadwald in the 45th minute.
Craddock came close to equalizing two minutes later flicking the ball against the post from a narrow angle. In the last 10 minutes, GB pushed forward for an equalizer with Craddock again troubling the German defense. At the other end, Germany also created chances to kill off the game, but the defense and Storry denied Germany the opportunity.
Women: Ireland – South Africa 1-3 (0-2)
1-0 Kate Hector 5, 2-0 Henriette Du Buisson 20, 3-0 Henriette Du Buisson 45, 3-1 Eimear Cregan 67.
Ireland’s women opened their Setanta Sports Trophy campaign against Beijing bound South Africa at six this evening in some wet conditions at Belfield. This was a special night for on form Mary Goode who earned her 50th cap and also for Christine Quinlan who put in a fine performance for her first cap.
South Africa opened their account early on with their second penalty corner which Kate Hector drag flicked home for a one nil lead. After which the Irish had to soak up plenty of South African pressure which they did so well especially with a relatively inexperienced backline, but in the twentieth minute the visitors pressure paid off and a reverse stick shot from the top left of the circle met a deflection on the post from Henriette Du Buisson to double her team’s lead before the half time break.
The break served Ireland well and they came out looking more likely to score and took the first chance of the second half when captain Cregan fed a great ball through to McKean who dealt deftly with five players to thread the ball through to the circle but without an Irish stick to connect for the finish. Ten minutes later Ireland were punished for leaving themselves open at the back and some swift South African passing left them with a direct shot which Henriette Du Buisson finished well to go three nil ahead.
Ireland clawed a goal back in the 67th minute when they converted their fourth penalty corner of the game when Louisa Moore drag flicked for a Cregan conversion. In the dying minutes Ireland were unlucky not to pull in another goal but the sound of the final whistle came a bit too soon for the home side.
Men: Ireland – Pakistan 2-4 (2-2)
1-0 Tim Lewis 8, 2-0 Timothy Cockram 10, 2-1 Muhammad Waqas 18, 2-2 Butt Rehan 19, 2-3 Waqas Akbar 6, 2-4 Muhammad Saqlain 70.
In front of a packed stadium, Ireland and Pakistan entertained the crowds with end to end fast paced hockey. Ireland opened in attacking style with the first originating from Captain Gormley’s aerial which found Magee up front to strike on the reverse but the keeper kept the first shot at bay.
Ireland didn’t have to wait long for a reward and 21 year old Tim Lewis found himself on the end of two rebounds before he slotted the third waist height home showing great skill and reactions for a one nil lead. Only two minutes later Ireland earned their first penalty corner and a drag from Tim Cockram doubled his side’s lead.
End to end hockey ensued and an on form David Harte pulled of some top saves in the 12th and 15th minute. Pakistan’s persistence paid off finally in the 18th minute when Waqas found himself with space for the shot to the top of the corner only a minute later they found their equalizer when Butt Rehan converted his open play chance for a two all draw at half time.
Both sides continued to display superb skill, pace and determination as the ball moved from end to end testing both sides defenses. Ireland had a superb chance to take the lead in the 16th when a free in found Butler but his deft deflection just skimmed the side of the post. Pakistan was awarded a stroke in the 20th minute but Saqlain put his attempt wide to the relief of the Irish.
Ireland found themselves trailing with only five minutes to go when Akbar converted his penalty corner for a 3-2 lead, which Ireland responded to by pushing forward but the resulting gap at the back left Saqlain with space to squeeze in another goal with just ten seconds on the clock.
Men: Canada – Great Britain 1-0 (0-0)
1-0 Peter Short 37.
Great Britain Men opened their Setanta Trophy campaign with a 1-0 defeat against a defensive Canada with Peter Short scoring the only goal in the 37th minute.
After a goalless first half, Short was on hand to tap the ball into the back of the net just after the restart when Britain lost the ball deep in Canada’s defense and allowed them to work it into the circle for the only goal of the game.
Britain had the better possession and had chances to score throughout, but the Canadian keeper constantly denied the Brits with a string of spectacular saves which made him “unquestionably the man of the match” according to manager Pete Nicholson.
Britain had six penalty corners throughout the game to Canada’s three, but could not make any of them count.
Source: Irish Hockey Association / Great Britain Hockey limited
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