Irish men into hockey Champions challenge semi-finals

Ireland's Michael Watt
Ireland's Michael Watt

Ireland produced their best performance of the week, to keep the ‘The Peoples Tour’ on course to lift the Champions Challenge title.

This was the Green Machine at its best, as they hammered Poland 4-0 to reach the semi-final in Argentina and will now meet either the hosts, who defeated Candad on Thursday, in Saturday’s game which hits off at 8pm GMT.

Right from the whistle, Ireland had Poland on the back foot as they peppered the Polish circle with Conor Harte, going close on seven minutes.

On 14 minutes, Peter Caruth forced the Polish keeper Matuszak into making a great save. Shortly afterwards the Polish keeper denied Michael Watt twice in succession.

It was frantic stuff as Ireland went for the breakthrough and with five minutes of the first half remaining, Shane O’Donoghue was once again denied.

With 10 minutes of the second half underway, Ireland at last broke the deadlock as Watt blasted them into a deserved lead.

Shortly afterwards Conor Harte settled Irish nerves when he finished off a penalty corner variation to double Ireland’s lead.

And with 16 minutes remaining, Harte doubled his tally with yet another well worked penalty corner which flew into the Polish goal.

The Green Machine were in full flight and were charging towards the semi-finals and with minutes to go, Watt set up O’Donoghue to drive the ball home to make it 4-0.

Earlier Malaysia and Korea both reached the semi-finals after defeating South Africa and Japan respectively.

Meanwhile, Lisnagarvey will play Belgian champions KHC Dragons in the EHL KO16 in March next year. The venue will be announced early next year.