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Ulsterman Gleghorne returns to make Irish pay penalty

By Graham Hamilton

Published 05/04/2016

Hat-trick: Mark Gleghorne hit three against his former team
Hat-trick: Mark Gleghorne hit three against his former team

Ireland men lost the first of their training games against Great Britain at Bisham Abbey yesterday - and it was Ulsterman Mark Gleghorne who came back to haunt them big-time.

The games are part of the Irish and GB build-ups to the Rio Olympics and it was the World's No 4 who came out on top 3-0, with Gleghorne knocking in three penalty corners against the Green Machine whom he used to line out for before making the switch to his new base in England.

Altogether there are ten Ulstermen in the Irish squad and a further couple in the GB squad, with Iain Lewers and Ian Sloan joining Gleghorne, although David Ames is out injured.

And, of course, the Gleghorne brothers Mark and Paul were again lining out against each other, as they have done so often over the last few years.

After Gleghorne had converted his three set-pieces in style, Chris Cargo hit the post for the Irish who finally sorted themselves out after that disastrous opening quarter but by that stage the damage had been done.

No caps are being awarded for these three games - the second is today at 1pm and the third on Thursday at 12noon - as they are being classed as training games, with both teams able to use as many substitutes as they want.

Meanwhile, the Irish women take on hosts and World No.4 New Zealand in the Hawke's Bay Cup this morning to complete their Pool B programme.

Graham Shaw's girls - four are from Ulster following Shirley McCay's withdrawal after breaking a finger - lost their opener 4-0 to China but then bounced back to beat Rio-bound India 4-0. A win would give them arguably an easier crossover quarter-final tie.

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