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Dublin: 5°C Friday 5 March 2021

Ireland suffer European Championships relegation after heavy Wales defeat

It was a sobering afternoon for the Green Machine in Antwerp.

Ireland conceded four goals in a heavy defeat.
Ireland conceded four goals in a heavy defeat.
Image: Virginia Mayo

Ireland 0

Wales 4 

IRELAND HAVE BEEN relegated from the top tier of the European Hockey Championships after a heavy defeat to Wales in Antwerp this afternoon.

With England beating Scotland earlier in the day, Alexander Cox’s side knew a win of any kind would see them retain their status for 2021, but Ireland fall through the trap door after a deeply disappointing performance.

Wales took the lead after just four minutes through Gareth Furlong and when he doubled his side’s lead in the second quarter, Ireland were floundering in the Belgian heat. 

Cox’s side pushed for a route back into the game but Wales clinically struck to kill Ireland off with two more goals in the closing stages. 

Having failed to win any of their five games in the tournament, Ireland finished eighth overall and drop down to the second division. 

“We didn’t perform how we could have performed at this tournament,” Cox said afterwards.

We need to assess what happened, we need to assess with the group because the Olympic qualifier is coming up so it’s important for the group that we know exactly why we didn’t perform, especially today, there was still a chance and we underperformed.

“In the end, we failed as a group, including coaching staff, otherwise we would have played better. There were some good moments in this tournament but most of the time we didn’t perform the way we could perform and that’s a hard learning.

“I’m obviously very disappointed, and I’m disappointed for the players because they always give it their all and I feel for the group.”

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

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

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WALES: D Kyriakides, J Draper, R Shipperley, R Furlong, S Kelly, R Bradshaw, G Furlong, O Dolan-Gray, J Gooch, L Hawker, I Tranter.

Subs: J Fortnam, J Naughalty, L Prosser, J Carson, D Hutchinson, H Jones, B Francis. 

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