HOCKEY: Ireland beaten 3-0 by Spain

Ireland's Chris Cargo.
Ireland's Chris Cargo.

A close encounter on Monday saw Spain edge the opening tie with Ireland 3-2.

However, Wednesday’s match was a different affair and Ireland were handed a 3-0 defeat, with uncharacteristic errors the main downfall of the men in green who will be looking for an improved performance in the final test of the series on Thursday.

Excess water on the pitch meant the game wasn’t played at the normal pace you’d expect from an international fixture with puddles of water getting the better of Kyle Good and Chris Cargo as they drove down the right wing only to leave the ball behind them.

The Spanish enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening quarter and David Fitzgerald was called into action to make two routine saves. The opening goal came courtesy of Lleonart and a penalty corner for the men in green yielded no return as the sides went into half-time 1-0.

Jonny Bruton, earning his 50th cap, made some notable runs along the baseline only for the final passes to be intercepted by the quick Spanish defence.

It wasn’t until the final quarter that Spain increased their lead after a route one sweeping ball into the circle found a free strike that deflected past Fitzgerald.

The Green Machine had 2 penalty corners in a row but a sweep by Conor Harte drew a double save. The third goal of the game again came from a quick Spanish break with the ball flying across the face of goal to be met by the stick of diving Alegre.

The two sides meet again in the third match of the series on Thursday at 12pm (CET).