HOCKEY: Ireland hold on for draw against France

Shane ODonoghue was on target for Ireland.

Shane ODonoghue was on target for Ireland.

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Ireland drew 2-2 with France in the Tri-Nations Tournament, Benalmadena.

Ireland got off to the ideal start with a goal in the opening minute as Chris Cargo robbed the ball in midfield and broke down the right before firing a ball into the circle, which Sean Murray calmly converted.

Matthew Bell made an important save on the line early in the second quarter and moments later Eugene Magee was impeded whilst shooting and was awarded a penalty stroke. Shane O’Donoghue duly converted and doubled Ireland’s lead going into half time.

The second half saw a slight role reversal as France began to get a grip of the game.

France were awarded a penalty stroke of their own, which they converted, in the final quarter when a shot was stopped on the line by the body of an Irish defender.

Ireland struggled to hold possession and France turned them over in the middle of the pitch before breaking into the circle to draw the game level at 2-2.

Congratulations to Sam O’Connor who earned his first senior international cap.

Ireland’s next match is against Spain on Tuesday in Benalmadena at 4pm (local time).

Starting: Carr (GK), J Bell, Duncan, Cargo, Murray, McKee, E Magee, O’Donoghue, M Bell, Gleghorne, L Cole,

Substitutes: O’Connor, Wright, Glassey, Nelson, Harte, Dale, Ingram (GK).