Heartbreak for Ireland after England draw

Updated: Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 15:03

Ireland have missed out on a semi-final place at the European Hockey Championships on goal difference after drawing 2-2 with England.

England opened a two-goal lead by half-time thanks to a pair of early strikes from Tom Carson.

Ireland needed a victory to progress and they were left with an uphill task going into the second half as England only required a draw.

However, two penalty strokes from Shane O'Donoghue hauled Ireland level with 14 minutes remaining.

And late Ireland pressure almost led to a winner but the English held on for the draw to guarantee a second-placed finish, behind the Netherlands, in Pool B.

Ireland must now play off for the minor placing at the event where they will compete for the fifth to eighth rankings.

Ireland coach Andrew Meredith said: “It is obviously a tremendously disappointing result. We were surprised that the English played so negatively, sitting so deep behind their own half line. But despite going 2-0 down in the first half we were controlling long periods and were ahead in all departments statistically. The elements that probably contributed to not getting the win involved both key areas in front of the goal and our effectiveness in those areas.

“None the less, we continue to show improvement and both the strong performance against the Dutch (ranked 3) and the fact that we are disappointed at only drawing today’s game against the English (ranked 4th) is a very encouraging sign from a very young and inexperienced team that is continuing to grow as an extremely competitive unit.”

Ireland XI: David Harte; John Jackson (Captain) Jonny Bell, Chris Cargo, Eugene Magee, Peter Caruth, Bruce McCandles, Conor Harte, Peter Brown, Shane O'Donoghue, Mikie Watt.