Saturday, June 27, 2009

Late salvo keeps Celtic Cup dreams alive

Ireland Men 3 (Simon Todd, Brian Doherty, David Ames) Wales 2 (Rick Gay 2)
Two goals in a manic last three minutes saw Ireland take victory from the jaws of defeat to top their Celtic Cup group going into the final day of action - a straight showdown with Scotland for the title.

On an eventful day for Rick Gay, he twice gave Wales the lead with drag-flicks in the 6th and 40th minutes for 1-0 and 2-1 - Simon Todd netting Ireland's first half equaliser - but his red card in the 67th minute precipitated his country's collapse.

He was shown a second yellow, reducing his side to nine men and Ireland took full advantage with Brian Doherty maintaining a 100pc record in full internationals from a corner and David Ames popped up with a winner in the last minute to record a famous win for the young charges.

Scotland came back from a 2-1 half-time deficit to beat France 3-2 and, due to their 1-1 draw with Wales, remain the only side that can stop Ireland retaining the Celtic Cup.

Ireland Women's A 2 (Kate McConnell, Katherine Steenson) Wales 2 (Dawn Mitchell, Leah Wilkinson)
Ireland A twice came from behind to earn a point which sees them share top of their Celtic Cup group and a game away from potential overall victory when they play Scotland.

Kate McConnell's field goal levelled Dawn Mitchell's 16th minute strike but Wales led the way at half-time when Leah Wilkinson netted a penalty stroke. Katherine Steenson, though, scored from a penalty corner for a share of the spoils.
Whoever gets the better result on the final day will take the title, though if both lose Scotland could be in with a shout.

Men's standings (points/goal difference): 1. Ireland 6pts (+3) 2. Scotland 4pts (+1) 3. Wales 1pt (-1) 4. France 0pts (-3)
Women's standings: 1. Ireland 4pts (+1) 2. Wales 4pts (+1) 3. Scotland 3pts (+1) 4. France (-3)
* For more pictures from the tournament available for purchase, taken by Scottish Hockey, click here

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