Friday, June 25, 2010

New-look Ireland ease to Scottish victory

Senior Men’s Celtic Cup
Ireland 3 (C Cargo, C Harte, T Cockram) Scotland 1 (K Bain)
A slick, fast-paced performance saw Ireland continued their hoodoo over Scotland, bringing their run to 13 games unbeaten yesterday afternoon in Le Touquet, France with a comfortable 3-1 win.

It was an impressive performance from Paul Revington’s side in his first chance to put a new-look side through their paces since last November’s World Cup Qualifiers, attempting to retain the Celtic Cup.

An overhaul in midfield saw Andy McConnell, David Ames and Geoff McCabe initially involved in a battle before finding the right strings to pull and when they did, Ireland had too much for the Scots.

First half substitutes Alan Sothern and Chris Cargo combined for the opening goal, the former laying on a delightful reverse-stick cross for the Cargo to deflect high past Great Britain goalkeeper Ali McGregor in the 19th minute.

McGregor did produce a top-drawer save to deny Ireland’s first corner but Conor Harte doubled the lead when he dragged home, aided by a defender’s stick, his first international goal in the 31st minute

The tall defender was one of a couple of corner options employed as Ireland look to replace the recently retired record goalscorer Stephen Butler, so deadly from the set-piece.

Scotland did pull one effort back in the second half through the lively Kenny Bain who used his power to beat two defenders and pummel past Iain Walker.

But Timmy Cockram scored from a set move from a corner six minutes from time, converting a switch-confirmed the win.

Ireland play Wales today (2pm, Irish time) in which a win would virtually assure the title before playing the tournament hosts France at 1pm tomorrow.

The Welsh beat France 1-0 courtesy of a Rufus McNaught-Barrington drag-flick.

Ireland: I Walker, R Gormley, J Jackson, C Harte, P Gleghorne, G McCabe, D Ames, A McConnell, E Magee, T Cockram, M Darling
Subs: J Brennan, A Giles, A Sothern, P Maguire, C Cargo

Senior Men's Celtic Cup (Le Touquet, France) results:
Ireland 3 (C Cargo, C Harte, T Cockram) Scotland 1 (K Bain); Wales 1 (R McNaught-Barrington) France 0

Celtic Cup standings (points/goal difference):
1.Ireland 3pts (+2) 2. Wales 3pts (+1) 3. France 0pts (-1) 4. Scotland 0pts (-2)

* Photos courtesy of GF Cohen/ - to see more photos from the competition, click here (Facebook page)

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