Sothern's treble gives Ireland positive start required
Men's Hockey: Ireland 2 Bangladesh 2Alan Sothern’s comeback hat- trick rescued a perilous position as Ireland stuttered against lowly-ranked Bangladesh on yesterday’s opening day in Delhi.
Indeed, amid an error-strewn opening 20 minutes, the world number 40 side – 25 places below Ireland – bounded into a 2-0 lead. First Mohammad Moinul sliding on to a superb Moisur Rahman diagonal pass and then MR Chayan crashed home a penalty corner.
It awoke Ireland from their slumber and they took just 12 minutes to regain the lead. Mitch Darling’s cross-shot was turned in by Sothern and the Pembroke man slotted a neat equaliser in the 29th minute.
Peter Brown, the 18-year-old playing in just his fourth international, was the instigator with a magnificent steal before Davy Carson took on the momentum for a classy counter-attack goal.
Chris Cargo popped home a rebound and the nerves but the game was only truly made safe 15 minutes from the end when Shane O’Donoghue roofed a drag-flick.
Sothern’s third and Ireland’s fifth was the move of the game, Eugene Magee over-lapping down the right and his cross was pin-point accurate, finding the striker’s deft redirection.
It was a special moment for Sothern who managed just one international appearance in 2012 in between lengthy spells out with first a knee injury and then a broken bone in his foot.
It was his third international hat-trick, previously recording triples against Scotland and France.
Coach Andrew Meredith, though, said the overall performance was sub-par if Ireland are going to push for first place in the competition.