Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wednesday D-day for Malaysia..(5.30pm start)

With Netherlands booking a semis spot from Group B of the Euro championships, the England versus Ireland match becomes crucial in Malaysia's chances of qualifying for the World Cup.
   If England win Malaysia will play in the World Cup as  Group A looks set to be a toss among Spain, Belgium and Germany making the semi-finals.
   This scribe picks Netherlands, of course, England, Belgium and Germany to play in the semi-finals of the Euro Hockey.
 And of the prediction comes true, first World League 2nd reserves Spain will qualify for World Cup, and Malaysia as well, as the World League 3rd reserves will claim the Oceania ticket..


Ireland vs England (head to head)

98 meetings
IRL 12 wins, England 66 wins, 12 draws; Ireland’s biggest win 3-0, Belfast 1938; England’s biggest win 8-0 in 1909

Crutchley wary of Irish..


English coach Bobby Crutchley says that if his side are not already wary of the challenge Ireland pose on Wednesday, he will not be shy in telling them.
His side fell 2-1 to the Netherlands to leave the final group game between Ireland and the English as a winner-takes-all affair for a semi-final berth.
The Dutch advanced to the final four but, in a decent second half showing, England showed enough quality to put them in the favourites bracket on Wednesday.
Champions Trophy Melbourne 2012Barry Middleton fired home a 54th minute goal to give his side a lifeline after Billy Bakker and Jelle Galema had put the Dutch 2-0 up at half-time.
Speaking afterwards, Crutchley said that the next match will be a huge tussle for his side.
“When you saw the fixtures, you knew it was always likely to be the crunch game for the semi-finals,” he said. “We are very aware of the challenge ahead. The Irish team have been improving for a number of years and they’ve shown again here they are a high quality side.
“We’re a reasonably inexperienced squad; we’ve only got six guys here from the Olympics. That make it a tough game for our guys to appreciate how hard it could potentially be. But don’t worry, I will be telling them if they don’t already know.”
He added, though, that due to the volume of players who have played in England before means that most will have already have had face to face experience with their opposite number.
“There’s also a lot of connections whether it be through club or ex-university team mates. They know each other pretty well.”
Middleton chipped in by pointing out that a brotherly showdown was ruled out, saying: “No Gleghornes though!”
Crutchley joked that Paul and Mark’s sibling rivalry could act as a substitute for the game itself: “I’m sure the two could have played the game on their own to decide it!”
Ireland fell to England 3-2 at the Hamburg Masters last month and have yet to beat England in a ranking event and the stats are heavily in the English court with June 2002 in Manchester the last time Ireland recorded a win.
** Pic by Grant Treeby/FIH
Ireland vs England (head to head)
98 meetings; IRL 12 wins, England 66 wins, 12 draws; Ireland’s biggest win 3-0, Belfast 1938; England’s biggest win 8-0 in 1909

Recent meetings:
* Ireland 2 (Kyle Good, Conor Harte) England 3 (Tom Carson, Darren Cheesman, Nick Catlin); Hamburg Masters, July 2013
* Ireland 2 (Chris Cargo, John Jermyn) England 4 (Barry Middleton 2, Matt Daly, Ashley Jackson); August 2011 Europeans in Monchengladbach group stages
* Ireland 1 (John Jermyn) England 1, August 2007 Europeans in Manchester in group stage

* Ireland’s most recent win – June 2002, Manchester; 3-1 (Stephen Butler, Mark Raphael, Julian Stevenson)

Ireland 4 Poland 2

EuroHockey Championships
Men’s Group B
Ireland 4 (C Harte, S O’Donoghue, E Magee, M Watt) Poland 2 (A Chwalisz 2)
It was laboured at times but Ireland picked up their first win of the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships as they saw off Poland 4-2 in Belgium to set up a delicious tie with England with a semi-final berth on the line.

Corner goals from Conor Harte and Eugene Magee along with goals from Shane O’Donoghue and Mikey Watt saw them over the line in spite of two sloppy Adam Chwalisz efforts.
They can be given a bit of leeway, though, for the lack of finesse. Having spent a huge amount of energy in falling just short against the Dutch on Sunday evening, the 16-hour turnaround time was a tough ask to manage for Andrew Meredith’s side.
Poland had eight extra hours rest than Ireland after their 5-2 loss to England and their coach, Karel Sniesek said he factored this into an aggressive game plan. In spite of this, Ireland started superbly, moving 1-0 up after four minutes via Harte’s switch drag-flick.
EuroHockey 2013Chwalisz poked home a spinning, one-handed effort that fooled David Harte in flight with a heavy dose of off-spin. O’Donoghue’s second goal in two days, though, gave Ireland the half-time lead.
They held on to that courtesy of a good defensive performance but found their attacks error-strewn until Eugene Magee calmed the nerves in the 44th minute.
Mikey Watt made the game safe with a rocket from the right of the circle late on but there was a blot late on when Chwalisz scored with just a few seconds to go.

With England to play on Wednesday afternoon with a semi-final place on the line, goal difference may become all-important.
Speaking about the win, coach Andrew Meredith said it showed the side’s mental toughness to cope with the short turnaround time.
“We were inconsistent but effective enough,” he said. “But we created enough chances – 14 shots at goal and eight corners. To get that win against a well-structured side; it was a must-win game and the pressure was on and we delivered.”
Other quotes:
Polish coach Karol Sniezek: “The first half was Ireland’s and they had much more opportunity to score but we had, in our good moments, two corners which meant we could have been equal at half-time.

“In the second half, we played a good press, knowing we had more of a rest than Ireland and physically that would work for us. We used the full press for almost the whole half and it gave us opportunities to score but corners were our problem today.
EuroHockey 2013“Ireland had their corner and scored. If you don’t score at the right moments, then you will lose. In Argentina, we lost 4-0 so I think we’ve stepped up and we played better today than then. Still, it’s not even to win against this good team.”
Irish coach Andrew Meredith: “The game yesterday cost a lot of energy against the Dutch. A 16-hour turnaround when you factor in the travel, sleep and meals; the guys are very fatigued and it showed.
“We were inconsistent but effective enough. We created enough chances – 14 shots at goal and eight corners. These are a key element at this tournament; if you can have 20pc corner conversion, you are doing well because everyone is struggling with the surface. To get that win against a well-structured side, the pressure was on and we delivered.
Dariusz Rachwalski on how his side have changed since they met Ireland in Argentina: “Some of our experienced players couldn’t play in this tournament so we tried to play a differently from Buenos Aires. Then, we played a deep hard court press. Today, we created more attacking situations but couldn’t score any. If you can’t score corners at this level, you cannot win.
Meredith, how do you manage the lack of time between games?: “Through a lack of sleep! To process the data from the previous game, have your team meetings to debrief the players. We had a video session late last night; the players get massages, they have to rehydrate. It takes a long time. Guys go to bed 12.30 or 1am at night.
“They have to be up again early to start their preparation again with individual clips and the team analysis of Poland. Somewhere in there you try and get some sleep.”
How many hours sleep? “About four!”
On the Braxgata turf: “The pitch is soft and taxing on the legs and you see players cramping as a result.
EuroHockey 2013John Jackson on the tournament organisation at the club he played with last season: “I have to pay tribute to what Braxgata have done. Its been planned since before I arrived here. They are putting on a great show.”
Peter Caruth on playing England: “We always knew England would probably be the biggest match in the group. They are a good team and are higher ranked but nothing changes in our processes. We’ll stick together and get the right result.”
Meredith on his team’s progression: “We put ourselves in a really good position with the performance against Holland. I’m really happy with the development of the youngesters, Shimmins, Brown, Cole and O’Donoghue – he’s still very young even though he has 30 or 40 caps. The experienced guys at the back and in midfield have been very good in organizing things. We are in a good place and are far and away in a better place than in Hmaburg in our preparation.
** Photos courtesy of Frank Uijlenbroek/IHA; for more click here
** To relive the game via the Live Blog, click here
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, C Cargo, E Magee, M Darling, K Good, C Harte, P Brown, S Loughrey, S O’Donoghue Subs: J Bell, M Watt, S Cole, P Caruth, K Shimmins, B McCandless, D Fitzgerald
Poland: A Matuszak, P Bratkowski, M Raciniewski, T Gorny, T Wachowiak, B Zywiczka, K Makowski, T Marcinkowski, M Nowakowski, K Majchrzak, M Poltaszewski Subs: D Rachwalski, A Rutkowski, A Chwalisz, P Mazany, P Kozlowski, A Krokosz, M Pacanowski
Men’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships
Group A results: Ireland 4 (C Harte, S O’Donoghue, E Magee, M Watt) Poland 2 (A Chwalisz 2); England 1 (B Middleton) Netherlands 2 (B Bakker, J Galema)
Standings: 1. Netherlands 6pts (+2) 2. England 3pts (+2) 3. Ireland 3pts (+1) 4. Poland 0pts (-5)
Men’s Group A Spain 3 (P Quemada, M Terraza, G Dabanch) Germany 6 (T Stralkowski 2, M Zwicker, C Wesley, M Furste, O Korn)
Four goals in eight second half minutes saw Germany turn a potentially disastrous position into a stunning win to see them right back in the mix for the men’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships.

Having lost to Belgium in game one, they trailed Spain 2-1 after 46 minutes, a result that would have seen Germany almost certainly eliminated.
But Moritz Furste popped in a close range goal and further efforts from Thilo Stralkowski, Martin Zwicker and Christopher Wesley saw them quickly exchange that deficit for a 5-2 lead.
Early on Pau Quemada scored a corner which was cancelled out by a low drag-flick from Stralkowski. Spain retook the lead Xavi Lleonart’s ball into the circle took a slight touch from Manel Terraza and slip through Nicolas Jacobi’s legs.
EuroHockey 2013The game turned, though, when Edi Tubau was yellow carded. Germany got two of their goals during his suspension and took the momentum through to build their lead. Gabriel Dabanch got one back but a nice Oliver Korn touch made it 6-3.
Belgium – Czech Republic 4-0 (half-time: 2-0)
Belgium moved a step closer to the semi-finals of the second half as they scored two goals in each half to see off the Czech Republic, adding to their earlier win over Germany.

John John Dohmen put them on course for the win after five minutes when he followed up with a great strike after Filip Neusser made a fine initial save. The goalkeeper produced another couple of great saves while Tomas Prochazka guided another effort around the post.
But Tom Boon’s third penalty corner goal of the competition made it 2-0 at half-time. A Richard Kotrc own goal in the 49th minute extended the lead to three before Cedric Charlier’s rocket completed the scoring.
It puts Belgium top of the group on six points with Germany and Spain on three points and the Czechs on zero going into the last round of matches on Wednesday with all sides still techinally able to advance to the semi-finals.
Standings: 1. Belgium 6pts (+5) 2= Spain 3pts (+2) 2= Germany 3pts (+2) 4. Czech Republic 0pts (-9)

Engaland v Ireland crucial tie..

Monday 19th August 2013
Spain - Germany 3-6 (2-1)
Ireland - Poland 4-2 (2-1)
Belgium - Czech Republic 4-0 (2-0)
England - Netherlands 1-2 (0-2)
Wednesday 21st August 2013 
Ireland - England

Final - Final

Germany - Czech Republic

Belgium - Spain

Netherlands - Poland