Ireland 2-3 Spain

Ireland suffered a narrow defeat to host nation Spain in their second 5 Nations tournament game on Tuesday afternoon. 

Encounters between Ireland and Spain have traditionally been tight and today was no different.

Ireland started brightly with Sean Murray causing the Spanish defence trouble in the opening minutes as he created a chance from nothing.

Murray darted out of his own half and swiftly into the Spanish circle only for his pull back pass to be intercepted at the final moment.

Jamie Carr in goal was called into action two minutes later as a Spanish drag flick look destined for the top corner but the Irish stopper got a strong stick to it to deflect it wide.

Arguably the chance of the half was manufactured by Chris Cargo who picked up the ball in his own half before calmly slipping the pass to O’Donoghue at the top of the Spanish circle, but the shot across goal missed the outstretched Murray at the back post by inches.

O’Donoghue was denied by both the crossbar and Cortes’ glove as he continued to chip away at the Spanish resolve.

But it was Spain who eventually broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Marc Miralles picked up Sergie Enrique’s pass on the far side of the circle to then fire into the far corner.

Cortes couldn’t keep out the Green Machine’s 5th penalty corner though as Matthew Nelson got a diving deflection on O’Donoghue’s drag to draw the game level.

Spain regained the lead with a phenomenal goal as Carr booted the ball clear it lofted to the perfect height for Alvaro Iglesias to volley it into the net on the run in the 53rd minute.

But captain Conor Harte was on hand to draw the game level once again less than a minute later with a powerful drag flick.

The game looked set to be a draw, but the pendulum swung in Spain’s favour once again and Xavi Lleonart shuffled the ball over the line at the back post following a bobbling pass across the circle.

Johnny Bell came on as kicking back as Ireland went searching for an equaliser, one that likely would have come, but the clock ran out and Spain took the spoils.

Ireland’s next match is on Thursday February 1st against Scotland at 4pm (Irish time).

Ireland: J Carr, M Bell, C Cargo, M Nelson, J Dale, P Caruth, S O’Donoghue, S Murray, P Gleghorne, C Harte (Captain), L Cole

Subs: J Bell, N Glassey, J McKee, D Fitzgerald, D Walsh, J Duncan, S Loughrey