Germans ruthlessly expose Ireland’s defensive frailties

German goalkeeper Frederik Gurtler saves against Ireland
German goalkeeper Frederik Gurtler saves against Ireland

Ireland were totally outclassed by World Cup Junior champions Germany as they crashed 5-1 in their final game in the Under 21 4-Nations tournament at Mossley on Thursday night.

It now means that the final outcome will be decided in Friday morning’s 8am hit-off between England and Germany, after England brushed aside Scotland 7-0.

Ireland opened with a flourish with Peter McKibeen having his shot taken off the line by Fabio Bernhardt in sixth minute. Three minutes later Johnny McKee flashed a shot just wide off the upright.

In the 14th minute, and with Germany enjoying a purple patch, Leon Willemsen sent a cross in from the right for John Hillman to tuck home the opener.

Ten minutes later Germany went further ahead, this time Bernhardt split the Irish defence for Joshua Delarber to score.

Germany were looking the sharper on the ball and in the 34th minute, Ferdinard Weinke smashed a cross from the right, to be met at full stretch by Hillman to guide the ball in at the far post. With less than a minute of the first half remaining Johnny McKee bulldozed his way into the circle, to smash home a thunderous shot to reduce the deficit for Ireland.

Germany continued in the second half where they had left the first, in total control. In the 44th minute, Delarber collected a pass on the edge of the Irish D to score with an powerful strike which nearly ripped off the back netting.

Ireland had no answer to the Germans and in the 56th minute a ball played from deep in the German half, was picked up by Willemsen and as Ben McMillan came out to block the danger the German forward calmly slotted the ball past him for the fifth goal.

Ireland left their best hockey until the last five minutes, with Kirk Shimmins and Ben Cosgrove forcing the German keeper into making his first saves of the second half.

England hammered Scotland 7-0 in the opening game of the evening.The goals flowed in, with Samuel French grabbing two and one-a-piece from Robert Farrington, Joseph Sharpe, Luke Taylor, Brendan Creed and Issac O’Connor.

Ireland starting XI: Ben McMillan, Peter McKibben, Johnny McKee, Kirk Shimmins, Michael Robson, Sam O’Connor, Lee Cole, Peter Brown, Matthew Allister, Matthew Bell, Nick Burns.