Hockey: late goals give USA shock win over Ireland men
John Bessell takes charge of Ireland side as they concede twice in final eight minutes
Shane Donoghue scored Ireland’s goal in their 2-1 defeat to the USA. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue) USA 2 (K Kaeppler, W Holt)
Ireland’s men fell to something of a shock loss to USA at Belfield after they conceded two goals in the closing eight minutes.
Nine previous meetings had seen nine Irish wins and Thursday’s 5-1 hammering suggested more of the same was in order, particularly when Shane O’Donoghue broke the deadlock.
But Kei Kaeppler and Will Holt turned things around to nick a 2-1 result for the USA, with Ireland coached on the night by John Bessell.
The Australian Bessell was brought in to help the panel on an assistant basis in May by Craig Fulton. The head coach departed just a few weeks later, though, and with Jonny Caren with the Irish Under-23s in Antwerp and Kai de Jager unavailable, Bessell was the last man standing to run the side.
He described it as “a weird situation” before adding that he is aware Hockey Ireland have conducted interviews this week for Fulton’s replacement with November’s World Cup fast approaching.
Bessell holds a full-time club role with Daring in Belgium and so has ruled himself out of the job as he believes the best person would be primarily based in the country.
“I’m not sure which way Hockey Ireland will go but I think they need someone on the ground here in Ireland to make sure everything runs structurally well.
“There’s a lot of talent. But with 16 or 17 of the squad playing in Holland, Belgium and Germany next year, it would work well to have me on the ground [IN BELGIUM]and Kai [IN HOLLAND], it will help us work with the boys more often. Right now, we can’t do a full-time programme here.”
Ireland: J Carr, L Madeley, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, J McKee, M Darling, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey. Subs: J Bell, M Nelson, O Magee, D Walsh, S Cole, M Ingram
USA: J Klages, P Harris, A Grassi, W Holt, A Dhadwal, T Barratt, K Kaeppler, S Cicchi, J Orozco, A Kaeppeler, M Gandhi. Subs: K Barber, C de Angelis, J Kentwell