Monday, August 30, 2010

Finally, a gold medal in hand

Results: Ireland 2 (Eugene Magee Peter Caruth) Scotland 0; Malaysia 4 (Hanafi Hafifihafiz 2, Izwan Firdaus, Mahammad Razie) France 2 (Fabian Magner, Martin Genestet)
Final Standings: 1. Malaysia 9pts (+3) 3. Ireland 8pts (+5) 3. Scotland 6pts (-3) 4. France 4pts (-1) 5. Poland 1pt (-4)


IRELAND kept up their half of the bargain in their bid to claim the inaugural INSEP Five Nations title but ultimately had to settle for second place as Malaysia’s 4-2 win over hosts France sealed the title in their favour.
It was the boys in green’s most impressive performance of the week, stretching Ireland’s unbeaten run against the Scots to 15 games – dating back to November 2006.
Eugene Magee fired them into a 22nd minute lead with a reverse-stick shot into the bottom left corner. Timmy Cockram had a chance to double the advantage soon after when Ronan Gormley’s overhead found Chris Cargo on the left wing who fed Cockram but his shot was smothered away.
Scotland picked up a pair of green card sin-binnings before the break and were stung deeper still early in the second half. Gormley again started the move, playing the ball inside to Joe Brennan who slapped a vicious ball into the circle for Peter Caruth to deflect home for the day’s second goal.
The Scots best opportunity came from a 56th penalty corner but it was snuffed out and the greens ended the game primarily on the attack and Iain Walker, in his maiden tournament appearance, completing a shut out.
Speaking after the game, Irish assistant coach Arul Anthoni said: “We are very pleased with the fact that the team got stronger each game and kept improving collectively” with the side working on the development of a new man-to-man defensive system.
Wednesday and Thursday’s draws were ultimately the sticking point as Ireland had chances against both Poland and France to grab the win. It left them to subsequently made to wait on text messages and phone call updates of the final score from the tournament’s final game as they made their way to the airport for early return flights to Dublin.
France were well in that crucial tie, level at 1-1 with 46 minutes gone via Fabian Magner penalty stroke. But Malaysia swept into a 4-1 lead with Hanafi Hafifihafiz scoring a brace to take the title before a late consolation goal closed out the Parisian tournament.
Ireland: Iain Walker, John Jackson, Geoff McCabe, Ronan Gormley (capt), Joe Brennan, Eugene Magee, Andy McConnell, Mitch Darling, Timmy Cockram, David Ames, Conor Harte Subs: Chris Cargo, Alan Giles, Peter Caruth, Alan Sothern, Phelie Maguire
Scotland: James Cachia, Mark Ralph, Chris Nelson, Kenny Bain, William Marshall, Iain Scholefield, Niall Stott, Gareth Hall, Ross Stott, Cameron Fraser, Gordon McIntyre
Subs: Stephen Dick, Derek Salmond, Alan Forsyth, Vishal Marwaha, Gavin Byers.