IRELAND men fell to a 4-2 defeat against Malaysia in their first warm-up game ahead of next week's World Hockey League 2 series in New Delhi.
New coach Andrew Meredith may have won the battle against his predecessor Paul Revington when the two sides met last December, with Ireland winning on the golden goal to clinch bronze in the World Champions Challenge series in Argentina, but this time there was no way back after the Green Machine – still adjusting to the heat and humidity in Kuala Lumpur – after they conceded a first minute goal to Chua Boon Chat.
Eugene Magee levelled from a penalty corner, but further goals from Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Izat Sumantri, and Azlan Misron put the Malaysians in control before Shane O'Donoghue scored a consolation a minute from time.
Banbridge teenager Peter Brown won his first cap after coming on as substitute and all eight Ulstermen sampled action.
The two nations meet again in another warm-up later today and complete the series on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Banbridge are back to four points clear at the top of the Ulster Premier League after beating fierce rivals Cookstown 3-2 at Havelock Park.
Bann were missing Bruce McCandless and Peter Brown who were on international duty in Kuala Lumpur, but they had enough to edge out the current champions.
It was two-goal Dane Ward who did the business and with Instonians losing narrowly at Annadale, it's now Bann and Lisnagarvey – who beat Mossley 6-0 on Friday evening – who are in front.
Ward got his first goal in the 22nd minute and then came two goals in the last minute of the half – one for each side.
Cookstown levelled when Garth Cuddy squared for Simon Todd to slot home, but Bann went straight on the attack for Ward to get his second.
Bann went further ahead seven minutes into the second period when a Stephen Dowds shot from outside the circle hit goalkeeper Ian Hughes and deflected in.
And although Stuart Smyth received a red card, Cookstown managed to pull one back right at the death from a Cuddy prolongation penalty corner.
Garvey are now second after a 6-0 win at Mossley where Johnny Quigley and James Lorimer – both former Mossley players – were on the scoresheet.
Steven Arbtuhnot's penalty corner opened the scoring in the 14th minute and an own goal and an Andy Forrest effort made it three early in the second half.
Then came the goals from Quigley and Lorimer with Greg Thompson getting the sixth a minute from time.
Instonians felt unfortunate not to have taken something from their Belfast derby at Annadale but ended up losing 3-2 and losing ground in the title race.
They dominated the first half but turned round a goal down after Matthew Allister set up Andy Williamson.
The equaliser came when a Jordan Robinson cross was turned into his own net by Chris Morrow.
Chris Henry then restored Annadale's lead and William Edgar increased it after converting a penalty stroke, although William Robinson's penalty corner conversion guaranteed a tense finale.
And Belfast Harlequins hit Antrim for six, with all the goals coming in a 17-minute spell in the second half. The marksmen were Michael McKenna (2), Adam Tweed, Neil Anderson, Richard Aicken and an own goal.
Raphoe chalked up a 5-2 win at Bangor to move four clear at the top of Senior One.
Newry kept up the pressure by beating Queen's 2-1, as did Portadown who obtain the points as Armagh.
Senior One: Ballynahinch 2 (A Millar, S Hunter), Campbellians 4 (J Easlea 2, C Mack 2); Bangor 2 (N McKeown, J Motteshaw) Raphoe 5 (G Leckey 3, M Leckey, L Coll); Newry 2 (R Irwin, J Taylor) Queen's 1 (R Johnston; North Down 3 (R Poots 2, K Connolly) South Antrim 0; Armagh v Portadown (w/o).