Friday, August 7, 2009

Ireland aim to finish summer on a high

Ireland hope to complete an uplifting international summer with EuroHockey Nation’s Trophy gold when they face Russia on Saturday evening in Wrexham.

Paul Revington’s first eight months in charge have already yielded silverware in the form of the Glyndwr Cup and the Celtic Cup as well as coming within 17 seconds of the Champion’s Challenge II.

But with promotion to the A division assured and the pressure that brings relieved, a gold medal would be the perfect tonic ahead of November’s World Cup qualifiers as well as earn vital world ranking points.

Russia, however, has been the stand-out side in the tournament to date with the barrelling Alexey Sergeev driving home seven goals in just four performances.

They overturned a one goal deficit in the latter stages of Tuesday’s pool game against Ireland – souring John Jermyn’s 100th cap.

Speaking ahead of the game, Revington is keen to have the psychological boon of another tournament win, especially after the Champion’s Challenge title slipped through their fingers.

“We are delighted to be in the final of this tournament; we want to make sure though we are winning the majority of finals we are in, tomorrow is important for us we want to make it two out of three."

“Tomorrow we will need to take the chances that we didn't take against Poland at the Champ’s Challenge, it is a match we are looking forward to."

The nasty head wound sustained by Geoff McCabe in the semi-final against Wales required glueing rather than stitching and so he is available for inclusion in the 16 players for the game while Iain Walker has rejoined the squad after attending a funeral in Dublin.

Elsewhere, Ireland will have another high quality test series in September as world number ten side Argentina announced their intentions yesterday to visit Ireland for a second successive year.

Tomorrow's fixture:
EuroHockey Nation's Trophy final: (5pm) Ireland vs Russia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Except for the Italy game it looks like the lads have really struggled in this tournament...are they burnt out after a hectic/long season?...Hopefully they have 1 last performance in them.