HOCKEY: Timmy Cockram makes impact for Ireland against Argentina

Harlequins' James Hutchinson with North Down's Andy McGimpsey
Harlequins' James Hutchinson with North Down's Andy McGimpsey

Timmy Cockram put himself back in the mix for international selection, when he scored in Ireland’s superb 2-2 draw with Argentina in Dublin.

Cockram, who has won over 100 caps for Ireland has been unavailable for selection, due to family commitments.

But his inclusion in the three test series against Argentina, who are ranked sixth in the world, could be very timely for the Ulster player.

Later this month, Ireland will hear if they have booked that ticket for the 2016 Rio Olympics and if they do, Cockram could well be on the plane.

Irish coach Craig Fulton was using the three-test series to see how some of his young stars of the future would fair against a crack Argentinian side, who are already in full preparation mode for the Olympics.

And in the final game, Fulton gave Cockram’s Lisnagarvey team mate Sean Murray and Banbridge’s Johnny McKee their first full international caps.

The Green machine got off to a flyer, when Cockram drilled the ball home for the opener just minutes into the game.

But a rare mistake, in what is seen as one of the best defences in international hockey, let in Lucas Villa to level it for Argentina.

With the sides still level going into the interval, Argentina, with three internationals with over 200 international caps each, took the lead in the second half.

This time Gonzalo Peillat, slammed home a drag flick with precision.

Argentina were out to wrap up the series with their third win, as they penned the Irish back.

But it was Ireland who dashed those hopes, when Cockram set up Kyle Good to level it, after superb play from Neal Glassey and Michael Robson.

Argentina won the series, as they won the other two games 2-1 and 6-3.

There are only two spots left for Olympic qualification and the Irish are within touching distance of taking one of them.

Ireland will be waiting to see who wins the Oceania Cup which gets underway in New Zealand later this week.

Should Australia win the tournament, then the Irish could be on their way to the Olympics but if New Zealand win, then Ireland will await the outcome of the African Hockey Championships, also being played this week.

It’s going to be a long few days, as Irish Hockey holds it breath as the Green Machine hopes to be on the plane to Rio and Oylmpic qualification.