Ireland defeat Korea with final quarter surge

Craig Fulton’s side overcome world number nine side with ease in their latest Olympic warm-up tie.

Ireland’s Paul Gleghorne competes with Namyong Lee and Hyosik You of Korea Olympic hockey warm-up at Merrion Fleet Arena, Rathdown School, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland 5 (G Watkins, L Cole, M Darling, J Jermyn, E Magee) Korea 2 (N Lee, J Seo) Three final quarter goals saw Ireland start their Ballsbridge énergie fitness match series with Korea in top notch fashion, beating the world number nine side with something to spare in their latest Olympic warm-up tie.

They never trailed as Gareth Watkins' sixth minute goal set the tone, capitalising from an excellent counter-attack move via Peter Caruth to John Jermyn. Jermyn's shot hit the bar but Watkins was on hand to bundle in the goal.

Nam Yong Lee equalised when Ireland failed to clear their lines but the Olympic-bound hosts were back early in the second half when Lee Cole’s low drag-flick found the bottom corner.

Again, Korea bounced back quickly with Seo adding a delicious touch to a left wing cross for 2-2.


From there, though, Ireland were the smarter team and kept picking off the Asian opponents. Mitch Darling’s shot took the lead for a third time; he initially looked intent on passing but, as the Korean defence backed off, he took the initiative and thumped through goalkeeper Hong’s padding into the backboard for 3-2.

Jermyn whipped a drag-flick into the top left corner for 4-2 with ten minutes to go and Eugene Magee capped a fine performance with a neat volley to Timmy Cockram’s goal-bound push following another flowing move set up by Kyle Good’s teasing run.

The two sides meet again on Thursday before back-to-back matches on Saturday and Sunday, all at the Merrion Fleet Arena.

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about hockey