/ Hockey

Last-gasp Korea dash Irish hopes

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 17:45

Peter Caruth was on target for Ireland but Korea twice came from behind to secure Olympic qualification
Peter Caruth was on target for Ireland but Korea twice came from behind to secure Olympic qualification

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The Ireland men's hockey team suffered a heartbreaking last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Korea in the final of the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament to end their hopes of Olympic qualification.

It was heartbreak for Ireland tonight at the final of the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London when they lost out by the narrowest of margins in a game that could have secured them a spot in the London Olympics.

Ireland enjoyed the majority of play in the first ten minutes showing composure and patience as they looked for a way to break through and attack.

And their efforts paid off when they secured the first penalty corner in the 13th minute. John Jermyn's initial drag was saved but Peter Caruth pounced on the rebound for a close-range slap to take the lead.

David Harte was called into action minutes later closing out the chance for Korea to get a clean strike away.

But Korea began to find rhythm and again looked dangerous in the Irish circle but the post this time kept their efforts out and Ireland's 1-0 lead intact.

Korea finally equalised with a close-range shot after working along the backline to set up Yong Nam Lee at the penalty spot and it was 1-1 at half time.

Ireland started the second period with great initiative with Mikie Watt weaving his way up the right but the attack was thwarted.

The Irish again came close with some great build up work from Paul Gleghorne and Mitch Darling to put through two bouncing balls across the circle but no one was able to get the vital touch.

Ireland secured a penalty corner with less than a quarter to go and marksman Timmy Cockram was on hand to push Ireland into the lead once again.

However, a penalty stroke was conceded minutes later and Woo Hyun Nam made no mistake to level the sides at 2-2.

Korea had a golden chance to go ahead minutes later but a phenomenal Harte in goals kept the drag effort out.

With just eight seconds left on the clock, Irish hearts broke as a free in received a deft touch by Korea's Nam Young Lee to give his side the 3-2 win and Olympic place.

Ireland Starting XI: David Harte; John Jackson; Geoff McCabe; Ronan Gormley; Michael Watt; John Jermyn; Ian Sloan; Mitch Darling; David Ames; Paul Gleghorne; Stuart Loughrey.
Reserves: Chris Cargo; John Jermyn; Peter Caruth; Andy McConnell; Timmy Cockram.

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