Shane O’Donoghue’s hat trick of low drag-flicks powered Ireland to victory over China in the World League Round Two 2013, a result which should ensure they qualify for the next phase of the competition and move them a step closer to World Cup 2014.
They were in control for most of the game, making the early running before Peter Brown – with his second goal of the tournament – got on the end of a smart Stuart Loughrey cross at the back post to get the green machine up and running.
Ireland held possession for long periods thereafter and took the sting out of the game on the half-time hooter when O’Donoghue netted his first goal. He was on primary flicking duties in the absence of Conor Harte, one of the official nominees for player of the tournament, who missed out on the game through injury.
But his presence was scarcely missed as O’Donoghue’s second came in similar fashion, hitting the backboard four minutes after the turnaround and the victory was complete from the same source in the 50th minute.
There were plenty of decent chances in between while China were kept under wraps for the majority of the tie, only creating real chances in the closing quarter when the game was up.