Sunday, June 15, 2008

Men's Setanta Trophy: final

Ireland completed their series of matches with a 2-1 defeat against Great Britain. Timmy Cockram came closest to breaking the deadlock in a scoreless first-half when his drag-flick was touched onto the post by Ali McGregor.

The second period was a livelier affair and it was the British side that took the lead with a slick right-wing move. Niall Stott slipped the ball to Simon Mantell on the end-line and his crash-ball found Matt Daly’s stick as he gambled at the near-post to deflect home.

Stephen Dick made it two-nil soon after, when he stole the ball off Karl Burns and buried from the top of the circle.

Ireland set up a lively finish when Stephen Butler finished off a full-pitch move which began with Ronan Gormley picking Ashley Jackson’s goal-bound drag-flick off the line.

But it was too late to force a result and meant the Irish ended fourth. The tournament, though, did provide a showcase for the prodigious goal-scoring talent of Mitch Darling, with two crackers in four games. Playing in tandem with Eugene Magee now have a very significant goal-threat from play though a return of one goal in four games from penalty corners is a cause for concern.

Pakistan deservedly took the honours for the attacking flair in front of legions of supporters in UCD. They beat Canada 3-2 with Rehan Butt scoring the winner three minutes from time.
The involvement of Pakistan has been a master-stroke for this tournament from their noisy fans to the cavalier style of play and their high-scoring matches, they definitely provided most of the tournament highlights.

They began well, Muhammad Imran breaking the deadlock in the third minute with a tidy corner after Canada made a hash of playing the ball around the back. They looked more dangerous throughout the half but Canada are tight and compact and gave up few clear-cut chances.
And the Canadians were rewarded for their stolid defence when Paul Wetlaufer's deflection tied up matters after half-time. Wayne Fernandes scored a fortuitous corner to give them the lead.

But a second defensive howler saw Shabbir Khan steal the ball from the last defender before rounding the superb Michael Mahood and slicing in a reverse.

It set up a fraught end, with corners being awarded at both ends. Rehan Butt took the chance with just 200 seconds left, as Imran drag was aimed wide of the post for the winger to dive onto and slide home to claim the spoils.
3rd/4th playoff: Ireland 1 (Stephen Butler) Great Britain 2 (Matt Daly, Stephen Dick) Final: Canada 2 (Paul Wetlaufer, Wayne Fernandes) Pakistan 3 (Muhammad Imran, Shabbhir Khan, Rehan Butt)


Queso said...

Really have been impressed with what seems to be a change in attitude / tactics from Ireland over the course of the Setanta Trophy...

...much more direct and attacking minded or maybe it's just renewed confidence from the players in their own abilities.

Anonymous said...

I agree!

Great stuff over the last few days...huge improvements and a few great performances.

Keep up the good work guys!!