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Fulton delighted as Irish push the highly-rated Dutch

By Staff Reporter

Ireland's men gave World number two Netherlands a fright in their own backyard when they held them to a 3-2 scoreline yesterday.

Coach Craig Fulton was pleased with his team's performance, particularly after Friday's 5-0 thumping against the same opposition, and now it gives belief ahead of the European Championships in 10 days' time.

Fulton gave young Ulster players Matthew Bell, Owen Magee and Michael Robson good pitch-time in the absence of stars like Eugene Magee, Ronan Gormley, Jonathan Bell and Michael Watt.

After two days at their training camp, the Irish turned things round and went ahead through Shane O'Donoghue's penalty corner.

Although the hosts scored twice, Mitch Darling levelled before the interval and the outcome was finally decided by a penalty corner rebound.

"We were in the game right until the end, which was an improvement from the first match," said Fulton. "We still need to improve in a few areas but it has a been a positive weekend playing against the World number two."

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