Ireland end World Cup preparations on a low with heavy defeat to Netherlands
Five goals in 13-minute spell in second half sees Irish men’s hockey side suffer 7-1 loss
Ireland’s Shane O’Donoghue scored Ireland’s only goal in their 7-1 defeat to the Netherlands. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
Senior men’s test match: Netherlands 7 (M van der Weerden 2, M Pruijser 2, J Hertzberger 2, S van Ass) Ireland 1 (S O’Donoghue)
Ireland’s men finished their World Cup preparations with a rough 7-1 loss to the Netherlands in Amstelveen with the second-half proving a chastening experience.
The first half was tight with just a 15th-minute Mirco Pruijser goal between the sides. David Harte was making his return to the line-up for the first time since his fractured fibula injury fears were allayed and he showed his worth with a number of good stops.
Ireland remained in the mix with 18 minutes to go when Shane O’Donoghue’s thumping strike countered a Jeroen Hertzberger goal, making it 2-1.
But five goals in a 13-minute spell from the world number three Dutch side very much changed the complexion of the evening with Mink van der Weerden clattering home a couple.
For coach Alexander Cox, it means lots to mull over on the flight to Bhubaneswar, India, in a couple of days as they look to take on the reigning World Cup champions Australia on November 30th.
This was their third loss of the month to the Dutch who are among the favourites but other performances against Spain and England – who Ireland beat twice – suggest the Green Machine are not as far off the pace as this result perhaps indicates.