HOCKEY: Ireland draw 3-3 with Spain in Tri Nations

Matthew Nelson scored twice for Ireland.
Matthew Nelson scored twice for Ireland.

Ireland drew 3-3 with Spain in the Tri Nations Tournament in a thrilling game.

The ever-reliable Eugene Magee was the instigator of the opening goal, calmly deflected in by Matthew Nelson for his first senior international goal.

The game settled down for the remainder of the half until the final five minutes when Ricardo Santana drew the game level for Spain.

However, minutes later Nelson grabbed his second goal after he was quickest to a loose ball in the circle.

Ireland extended their lead in the second half when Johnny McKee won Ireland a penalty corner. O’Donoghue made no mistake as he drag-flicked the ball high into the goal.

In the final minute of the third quarter the momentum began to shift as Xavi Lleonart scored from a penalty corner and moments into the final quarter he got his second goal to draw Spain level at 3-3.

Both sides pushed for a winning goal but the final result ended up as a draw following an entertaining game.

Ireland head coach, Craig Fulton, said: “There have been improvements in every game and that was the main objective coming to Spain with this squad.

“We have made some really good progress as a team and there were some strong performances from the younger players.”

IRELAND: Carr (GK), J Bell (Captain), M Bell, Gleghorne, Harte, Glassey, O’Donoghue, Cargo, McKee, Dale, Nelson

Subs: Ingram (GK), L Cole, Duncan, E Magee, Walker, O’Connor, Murray