Ireland defeat in tournament opener

Ireland 1 - 2 New Zealand
Published Sunday, 27 April 2014
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Ireland can take some comfort from their opening performance at the Champions Challenge I Tournament despite losing 2-1 against New Zealand.

Ireland defeat in tournament opener
The tournament ends on 4 May. (© Getty)

Ireland took on the sixth ranked team in the world at Kuantan in Malaysia.

They opened the game with an attacking intent with Maurice Elliott, on his debut, drawing a fine save from the Blacksticks' keeper.

However, New Zealand opened the scoring with a Steve Edwards goal in the 11th minute.

Four minutes later Ireland levelled the scores through a beautiful Alan Sothern conversion.

On 18th minutes New Zealand secured the first penalty corner of the match, however, a top class save from Ireland keeper David Harte denied New Zealand a second.

New Zealand's keeper was kept busy until half time with Bruce McCandless going close for Ireland on 19 minutes.

In the second half New Zealand came out determined to get the win and were rewarded with their pressure with a 41st minute goal after Hugo Inglis pounced on a rebound from a penalty corner.

Ireland pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to convert their chances.

Ireland coach Craig Fulton said he was proud of the team's performance.

"We faced tough conditions and the players came through well," he said.

"We are looking for continuous improvement and this was a positive start."

Ireland go on to face Poland and Japan in the group stages of the competition.

Ireland Challenge Tournament squad:
David Harte (Kampong), David Fitzgerald (Monkstown), John Jackson (Captain, Reading), Paul Gleghorne (Instonians), Johnny Bell (Lisnagarvey), Richard Shaw (Glenanne), Mathew Bell (Banbridge), Bruce McCandless (Banbridge), Eugene Magee (Banbridge), Drew Carlisle (Banbridge), Michael Robson (Annadale), Peter Brown (UCD), Chris Cargo (Reading), Alan Sothern (Pembroke Wanderers), Steven Dowds (Banbridge), Kirk Shimmins (UCD), Philip Brown (Banbridge), Maurice Elliot (Pembroke Wanderers).

© UTV News
Comments Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (268 days ago):
Why do they call this team Ireland when the majority of the players who make up this team come from Northern Ireland?
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