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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 9 March 2021

Ireland drop into relegation battle as Germany show their class

Alexander Cox’s side were beaten in this afternoon’s European Hockey Championships clash.

Niklas Wellen celebrates his early goal for Germany.
Niklas Wellen celebrates his early goal for Germany.
Image: Virginia Mayo

Ireland 0

Germany 5

IRELAND WILL HAVE to battle it out to retain their European Hockey Championship status after failing to win any of their preliminary round games in Antwerp.

After a heavy defeat to the Netherlands and a last-gasp draw with Scotland, Alexander Cox’s side needed to produce a monumental performance in this afternoon’s do-or-die clash with Germany.

And while they fought admirably and defended resolutely for large chunks of this pool encounter, Germany’s superiority eventually told as they progressed through to the semi-finals.

The final score was harsh on Ireland, although Germany’s overall domination of possession and territory meant the world number seven side were always in control of the contest.

After weathering huge amounts of pressure to keep the score at 2-0, Cox’s side enjoyed a purple patch of their own in the fourth quarter and could, and probably should, have set-up a grandstand finish.

But Germany withstood the Irish pressure and then showed their ruthless edge to tack on three more goals in the dying embers to send the Green Machine down into the fifth to eighth place classification.

With the bottom two teams relegated to European Hockey Championship II next year, Ireland — who finished sixth two years ago — must rally and finish the campaign strongly after the disappointment of missing out on a place in the last four. 

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“It’s a disappointing scoreline obviously,” captain Johnny Bell said.

“We were in the game for large parts of the match, and we were still on the hunt at half-time. Obviously 2-0 is a long way back when you’re playing someone like Germany, but if we’d got it to two one it could have been a different game.

“We pulled the ‘keeper at the end to bring on an extra outfielder and they hit us with three goals which was tough on the score line.

“However, there were a lot of positives in the performance compared to the performance against Holland and we’ll have to carry that into the relegation pool. We’ll bring that energy and intent to those next two games. In tournament hockey your next match is always your most important match, so for us now it’s all eyes on the next game.”

IRELAND: M Ingram, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte.

Subs: J Carr, T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole.

GERMANY: M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder M Haner, T Herzbruch, C Ruhr, M Zwicker, F Fuchs, T Oruz, J Grosse, V Aly.

Subs: N Wellen, D Nguyen, T Grambusch, D Linnekogel, F Wienke, T Walter, M Hellwig.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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