Ireland come up short against Spain

Matthew Bell
Matthew Bell

Ireland 2 Spain 3

Ireland - who now sit at an all-time high of 12th in the latest world rankings - took on Spain in Barcelonaon Monday in the opening test of the three match series.

The Spanish side finished the victors in what was a tight 3-2 contest.

The first half was an even affair, reflecting the side-by-side world rankings of the two teams, with Spain just narrowly enjoying more possession.

It was the men in green who got the scoreboard ticking in the opening minutes as a darting run down the right wing resulted in a well taken goal by Alan Sothern.

The game continued to open up and was more free flowing as both sides enjoyed chances.

Spain levelled the game in the 28th minute via a well worked PC drag flick, but Ireland came undone in the closing minutes of the half. A counter attack, the result of an unfortunate slip by Harte, led to a second goal 10 seconds before the half time whistle.

The equaliser came four minutes into the second half courtesy of Gareth Watkins. Gormley, captaining the side, produced a stunning cross-field aerial that found Matthew Bell in the circle.

Bell, showing superb 3D skills, drew two defenders before squaring the ball back to the penalty spot where Watkins was waiting to smash home.

It looked like Alan Sothern had fired Ireland into the lead as his drag flick flew goal-ward but unfortunately pinged off the post and was expertly cleared off the line by the Spanish defence.

It was Spain who secured the win in the final minute of the match as a reverse shot across the goal was tapped in by the post man.

The two sides meet again in the second match of the series on Wednesday.