Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Watt a win for rampant Irish

Ireland are sitting proudly top of the Insep Five Nations table going into their final game against France this afternoon.

Although Paul Revington's lads are ranked lowest of the five taking part, they are leading the way on goal difference after they crushed the World No. 11 team Argentina 4-1 yesterday, having earlier humiliated World No. 6 Korea 5-1.

The only blemish on their copybook in Paris to date is the 4-2 defeat against Australia... and we can surely forgive them that considering the Kookaburras are the world champions!

In fact there's an outside chance they could end up winning the tournament on goal difference, but they would have to beat the French tomorrow and then hope that Australia, Argentina and Korea don't bang in as many goals on the final day on Sunday.

"It's great to beat two of the top hockey nations in the space of three days," said coach Revington. "The wins over Korea (5-1) and Argentina (4-1) were very satisfying and will give our players a massive boost ahead of next month's Europeans in Germany."

Having enjoyed their day's rest following the game against the Aussies, the Irish - with ten Ulstermen in the 16-strong squad - tore into the Argentines from the off and were two up after just eight minutes.

The Pumas, unlike the previous day when they shocked Australia 3-2 to keep the competition wide open, didn't know how to cope with the Irish lads who were full of running.

The Ulster players were causing problems up front and Michael Watt struck twice and Timmy Cockram once while Peter Caruth and Eugene Magee were involved in the build-ups.

Watt opened the scoring after four minutes with a fine solo effort and four minutes later Caruth won a penalty stroke which John Jermyn converted.

Cockram made sure the Irish would go in at the interval happy when his powerfully struck shot on the reverse left the goalkeeper rooted to the line.

Argentina pulled one back in the second half from a penalty corner and then struck the post from another. But any chances of a comeback were ended when Watt scored his fifth of the tournament.