Sunday, August 2, 2009

EuroHockey Nation's Trophy: Ireland 10 Italy 2

Ireland 10 (John Jermyn 4, Eugene Magee 2, Mitch Darling, Peter Caruth, Stephen Butler, Timmy Cockram) Italy 2 (Massimo Lanzano, Agustin Nunez)

Ireland all but ensured their place in the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Nation's Trophy with an awesome ten-goal performance against hapless Italy. John Jermyn netted four while Stephen Butler scored on the day he broke the Irish caps record.

Paul Revington is likely to reflect on two soft goals conceded in his post-match debrief but Ireland were in rude form going forward, benefiting from a more than welcoming Italy who opened up gaps all over the pitch.

A switch to more overheads drew immediate dividends as Andrea Vargiu struggled under a bouncing ball, conceding a corner inside a minute which John Jermyn duly dispatched.

Massimo Lanzano - Italy's one bright spark - got a corner of his own for 1-1 in the eighth minute but when Eugene Magee mopped up off Alberto Marchi's pads from David Hobbs' cross, the Italians visibly lost heart.

Timmy Cockram finished off a superb counter-attack - initiated by Tim Lewis' brilliant circle interception. Peter Caruth, in tandem with Mitch Darling, superbly won Ireland's second corner on the stroke of half-time for Jermyn to make it 4-1.

The C of I man completed his hat-trick two minutes after break from play, banging in from the right-edge of the circle; Alan Sothern bagged the assist.

Agustin Nunez did pull one back, picking up on Conor Harte's miscontrol but it was a short-lived rising. Darling cracked in a half-volley before Jermyn whacked in a rebound from his own drag-flick.

Butler made it 8-2 in the 65th minute from Ireland's sixth corner - dragging low. Tim Lewis was the intended target but the Pembroke man was the first to admit the goalkeeper, rather than his stick, got a slight deflection on the ball.

Caruth scored the goal of the game for number nine, an audacious piece of skill to round Marchi before Magee stole and shot to put the score into double digits for the first time since Ireland beat the Czech Republic in 2007.

Pool A Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+8) 2. Russia 3pts (+3) 3. Belarus 0pts (-1) 4. Italy 0pts (-10)
Monday fixture (11am): Belarus vs Russia

* For more of Fidopics from the Ireland vs Italy game, click here

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