Shane O'Donoghue gets to feel more at home in Belgium
Shane O'Donoghue took full advantage of playing on his club pitch at KHC Dragons to score four times against World No 4 Belgium as Ireland wrapped up their build-up to the World League 3 series later this month.
O'Donoghue has just completed a successful first season with the Dragons and felt quite at home as Ireland pushed the hosts on both Saturday and yesterday during the training camp.
The Belgians, who are top seeds in Ireland's pool in the world series, not surprisingly won both games - 4-2 and 3-2 - and it was O'Donoghue who scored all the Irish goals.
Irish coach Craig Fulton was pleased his players pushed the hosts close, but it also gave them invaluable practice on the tournament pitch ahead of the series from which places at the Rio Olympics can be earned.
The Irish were three down on Saturday through JJ Dohmen, Tom Boon and Loick Luypaert but two O'Donoghue drag flicks kept them in the hunt until Sebastien Dockier scored late on.
The Belgian scorers yesterday were Florent van Aubel, Felix Denayer and Amaury Keusters but two more O'Donoghue drag flicks ensured a close finish to the contest.
Meanwhile five finals were staged on Saturday, with Kilkeel II winning the Junior League One Cup by beating Lisnagarvey II in a shoot-out and Cookstown III winning the Two Cup by beating Instonians III 2-0.
The Junior League Three Cup went to Civil Service II who beat Cookstown IV 6-2, the Junior League Four Cup to Portadown II who beat Newry III 4-1 and the Junior League Five Cup to Mossley II who beat Portrush II after a shoot-out.