HOCKEY: Ireland defeat Canada in South Africa

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

Ireland defeated Canada in the first of eight tests in ten days in South Africa.

The two sides will face each other in Pool B at the Rio Olympics and the Canadians sit 14th in the world, two places behind the men in green at 12th.

Ireland are based in Cape Town for two weeks for warm weather training and intense match series against Canada, Spain, South Africa, and Belgium.

The first match of the series, and the warm weather camp, meant the first half produced little action as neither team could capitalise on their chances.

However, the second half showcased the clinical finishes that eluded Ireland in the opening 30 minutes.

Five minutes into the third quarter, Shane O’Donoghue drove into the circle and fired a reverse shot into the bottom corner, increasing his goal tally to an impressive 46 in his 89 caps.

The game was settled when clever link-up play between Mitch Darling and Mikie Watt resulted in a corner.

After a blocked shot, Chris Cargo scored via an impressive reverse shot into the top corner to secure a 2-0 victory for Ireland.