Ireland slumped to a 4-1 defeat for the second day in succession in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, this time to Australia.
It was another hot and humid day in Malaysia as the Green Machine took on the number one side in the world.
Ireland nearly got an ideal start to proceedings as they enjoyed early phases of possession and a penalty corner but Tyrell Lovell was alert to Shane O’Donoghue’s efforts.
Mark Ingram was in great form throughout the day and made his first of many fine saves from a penalty corner drag shot by Blake Govers.
Jake Whetton got the first goal of the day following a quick pass from Trent Mitton to set his team mate up for a strong reverse into the far corner.
Daniel Beale doubled Australia’s lead just three minutes later via an unlucky deflection off Sam O’Connor, following a quick counter attack led by Mitton.
Julian Dale came close at the other end as he swept the ball goalward after breaking along the baseline but Lovell somehow managed to keep the ball out.
Ireland held 60% of the possession and the blistering pace of Sean Murray caught the Australians out a number of times as he accelerated down the right wing and into the circle. Govers got his PC goal in the 21st minute as he sent an unstoppable ball high into the right corner.
Australia seemed happy to sit back and then counter at speed for much of the first half and the trend continued as the second half started with Ingram again called into action to make a low stick save. Lee Cole was sharpest to pick up Chris Cargo’s pass into the circle but his close-range reverse shot drew a good save from Lovell.
Australia accumulated 6 PC’s and over 20 circle entries according to the stats but the Green Machine kept them at bay for much of the second half.
Jake Harvie’s goal summed up the Australian’s counter attacking pace and ability as he got the final tap from a sharp move involving three of his team mates.
O’Donoghue forced another save from Lovell from a PC variation, and his goal came in the 57th minute with a powerful drag low into the corner to make the final score 4-1.
The Green Machine next face India on Friday at 10:05am.
Ireland starting team: J Bell (Captain), A Sothern, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, P Gleghorne, L Cole, S Loughrey, M Ingram, S Cole
Subs: J Carr, M Bell, S O’Connor, C Cargo, S Murray, K McKee, J Dale