Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do-or-die for Malaysia...

RESULTS --- March 10: Malaysia 5 Chile 1, Ireland 6 Russia 1, South Korea 8 Ukraine 2.
March 11: Malaysia 6 Russia 2, Ukraine 0 Ireland 12, South Korea 6 Chile 1.
March 13: Ukraine 1 Malaysia 5, Russia 4 Chile 3, Ireland 1 South Korea 1.
March 15: Russia 2 Ukraine 0, Malaysia 2 South Korea 3, Chile 0 Ireland 3.

March 17: South Korea 5 Russia 1, Chile v Ukraine (8.30pm), Ireland v Malaysia (11pm).
March 18: Final and placing matches.


P W D L F A Pts
S KOREA 5 4 1 0 23 7 13
IRELAND 4 3 1 0 22 2 10
MALAYSIA 4 3 0 1 18 7 9
RUSSIA 5 2 0 3 10 20 6
CHILE 4 0 0 4 5 18 0
UKRAINE 4 0 0 4 3 27 0

Korea book final slot..

Korea beat Russia 5-1 in their last pool match to confirm their spot in the final of the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin.

Is legend of St Patrick just a bit of blarney? He was a runaway tax collector turned slave trader, says expert

By David Wilkes (

LEGEND has it St Patrick came to Ireland in the fifth century to spread the word of Christ – and banish snakes from its shores.
But as St Patrick's Day is celebrated today, it seems the patron saint's motives for leaving Roman Britain may have been less selfless than previously thought.
Researchers claim that St Patrick actually fled to Ireland to avoid becoming a tax collector. Once there, however, it is claimed he took up an even more dubious occupation – as a slave trader.
Patrick's father was a Decurion, a Roman official responsible for tax collection in Britain. But he used a bail-out clause in Roman law that allowed him to leave his post by joining the clergy on the condition the job was passed to his son.
Dr Roy Flechner, an expert in ancient and medieval history from Cambridge University, claims that Patrick, alarmed at the prospect of taking on the unpopular job, decided to emigrate.
As well as collecting tax (with any shortfall coming from the Decurion's own pocket), duties included road maintenance and the recruitment of soldiers.
'In the troubled era in which Patrick lived, which saw the demise and eventual collapse of Roman government in Britain in 410AD, discharging the obligations of a Decurion, especially tax-collecting, would not only have been difficult but also very risky,' said Dr Flechner, whose research is based on a new analysis of St Patrick's writings.
Patrick was forced to find a way of retaining some of the family estate – in the shape of slaves – to pay for his new life in Ireland.
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Dr Flechner said Patrick may have become a slave trader because it was the only way he could transfer his wealth from England, as Ireland did not have a monetary economy at the time.
Slaves were a highly valued commodity and Patrick's writings mention that his family owned several.
Dr Flechner said: 'It may seem strange that a Christian cleric of Patrick's stature would own slaves, but in late antiquity and the early middle ages the church was a major slave owner.
St Patrick's Day is celebrated the world over. Here drinkers give a cheers at McSorley's pub in New York, in the U.S.
St Patrick's Day is celebrated the world over. Here drinkers give a cheers at McSorley's pub in New York, in the U.S.
'The only objections to slavery were cases in which Christian slaves were owned by non-Christians.'
Dr Flechner claimed that the traditional legend of St Patrick's arrival in Ireland was invented by the man himself because that is how he wanted to be remembered.
He also questioned the part of the legend that says before his arrival as a missionary St Patrick spent six years as a young slave in Ireland himself. 'The probability that Patrick managed to cross from his alleged place of captivity in western Ireland back to Britain undetected, at a time when transportation was extremely complicated, is highly unlikely,' he said.
'None of this is to say that Patrick was not a bishop or that he did not engage in missionary activity, but his primary motives for moving to Ireland were most likely to escape the poisoned chalice of his inherited position in Roman Britain.'

Saint Patrick's Day showdown

TODAY the whole of Ireland will be celebrating Saint Patrick's Day, and their hockey team will be banking on the luck of the Irish to make the Bank Holiday a memorable outing as well.
With South Korea virtually in the final, unless they do the impossible and lose to Russia, Malaysia and Ireland will be lining up for the second ticket, or pick up the crumbs when the dust settles at the University College Grounds in Dublin.
The Irish started celebrating last weekend itself when their rugby players beat Scotland in a Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, and the taps have yet to stop pouring to satisfy the merry makers.
And there is no shortage of entertainment outlets here in Dublin, as every shopping district has more than five outlets and they have their pints very early here.
Green is the colour of the Irish, and the celebrations today will paint the town green, so to speak, as revellers pour onto the streets for parades and the must-have pint of black gold in a chilled mug famous the world over.
The cold pebbled streets in Dublin, especially around the Temple Bar area, were already feeling the heat and weight of a celebrating crowd on Thursday and Friday nights, and none will be left out of the merrymaking this weekend.
But the early indications are that our national players would break the hearts of the Irish, the second most friendliest people in the world after Malaysians, on the most important day of their lives.
And they would not need the Irish luck.

Last chance saloon

MALAYSIA lost one "life" against South Korea but still have another shot at making the final of the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin, provided they beat Ireland today.
The 3-2 defeat paved the way for South Korea to snatch the first final ticket, as they only have to beat Russia today to confirm a final appearance.
The second berth will be a toss between Ireland and Malaysia, and the Irish have the advantage of needing only a draw, while the national players must make sure of three points to play Korea again.
Ireland coach Paul Revington and assistant coach Arul Selvaraj are confident their players have the skills to beat Malaysia.
"It is unfortunate that it had to come to this (a toss between Ireland and Malaysia) as I will be planning to defeat the country of my birth.
"But it is my bread and butter to be professional and plot Malaysia's downfall on Saturday," said Arul, a former Malaysian international.
Arul was oozing with confidence, as the Irish feel this Malaysian side are weaker than the one that they beat 2-1 in the semi-finals of the 2009 Champions Challenge in Dublin.
"I noticed that the 2009 team were much more stronger but we sill beat them, so the confidence to beat them again is there," said Revington.
Malaysia started badly in all four matches, and only woke up in the second half of every match.
The Korea tie was no different, as the national players only started a fightback in the second half after being down 0-2.
And if this trend continues against the Irish today, Malaysia will be playing in the third-fourth placing match against Russia for sure.