MEN’S HOCKEY: Ireland coach Craig Fulton pleased with warm weather series

Craig Fulton
Craig Fulton

Coach Craig Fulton believes Ireland’s warm weather training camp will stand his players in good stead for this year’s Olympics.

The Green Machine completed their series with a 6-3 defeat to Belgium in Cape Town on Sunday.

It was the final test of an intense eight match programme which produced nothing short of nine goals.

“We have had a tough Olympic training camp in Cape Town. Eight games in 11 days, as well as training, have been invaluable for the whole squad,” Fulton said.

“The hot and windy conditions made it realistic conditions for the Olympic Games in Rio.

“It has been a good camp, and a good foundation to start 2016 for us.”

Gougnard got the Belgian Red Lions off to the ideal start when he broke the deadlock.

Tom Boon doubled the Belgian lead with one of his trademark drag flicks. But before half-time Sothern, with a drag flick of his own, fired Ireland back into the game to make it 2-1.

Mitch Darling levelled the match with a stunning reverse strike, but two quick goals in the final quarter by Dockier and van Aubel put some light between the two teams.

Shane O’Donoghue made it 4-3, then moments later Dockier got his second and Boon doubled his tally as he deflected in at the back post,