Peter Caruth eyes hero status
Ulsterman Peter Caruth is hoping to turn the clock back as Ireland continue their World League 3 campaign in Antwerp with their second pool game against Malaysia today (1pm).
It was back in December, 2012 that Caruth made sure his name went into the Irish hockey history books when he scored a tremendous extra time winner in the Champions Challenge series in Argentina to earn the Green Machine a totally unexpected bronze in a series which Irish fans coughed up the finances when it seemed they wouldn't make it to the tournament.
The opposition that day was Malaysia and the game had gone into extra time with the scores locked at 3-3 when the striker streaked through the defence to fire home a thunderous shot on the reverse to secure a memorable win on the golden goal.
"It was a fantastic moment and one I will always savour," says Caruth, the former Annadale hit-man now based in Dublin with all-Ireland champions Monkstown.
"It would be nice if I could repeat the dose against Malaysia today by scoring a dramatic winner, but as long as we win I won't care who does the scoring.
"We've been working so hard to get to the Rio Olympics and we're going to give it a real go."
The Irish opened their pool phase on Tuesday with a fine 2-2 draw against old rivals Great Britain who are ranked ten places above them on the world ladder and really need to beat Malaysia today and China tomorrow (1pm) before going into the final pool game against Belgium on Sunday (5pm).
It's this tournament that effectively hands out tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games and the better the Irish do in their pool will ultimately decide whether they get the stronger or weaker opposition in the crossover quarter-finals next Wednesday.
"Malaysia are ranked above us on the world ladder and games against them are always very close," said Caruth.
"But we don't mind playing Asian opposition; different continents have different strategies and it's always a good challenge."
Ulster girls upbeat despite slender loss
Ulster's Under-23s gave their English counterparts a scare in the second of three clashes at Bisham Abbey before falling to a 1-0 defeat.
Ballymoney striker Jessica Moore was unlucky to see her shot rebound off the crossbar late in the second half as Ulster pressed forward in search of an equaliser.
England had gone in front before half-time but an excellent display in goal from Ulster Elks player Rebecca Davidson prevented the hosts from adding to their tally.
Ulster coach Stephen Watt, who was delighted with his team's performance, feels the series which ends today, has been a useful exercise.
Today: England U-23 v Ulster U-23 (Bisham Abbey, 2pm)