Belfast Telegraph

Trophy bid over but McMinn's men don't leave empty handed

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland have been knocked out of the Men's Plate at the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow, but could finish as high as 13th if they overcome South Africa in their final match of the tournament today.

Justin McMinn's side lost their Plate quarter-final 8-3 to Namibia. However, they were then 11-5 winners over Denmark in the play-offs which decide the overall final standings.

They will now face the South Africans today, with the outcome determining whether the side finish the tournament in 13th or 14th position.

It was always going to be a tough order for Northern Ireland to compete in the Plate against some top opposition, and Namibia, ranked 12th in the world, proved to be one step too far as they eased to victory in the last-eight clash.

But, unlike the gloomy weather in Glasgow, the players were not downcast and came back to take their second game of the day against Denmark, triumphing 11-5.

Even though they won't win a trophy, the Northern Ireland team will return home with some silverware after they were awarded a Respect medal by the tournament organisers.

The medal is awarded to teams that show excellent behaviour off the pitch as well as exhibiting fair play on it.

It is a just reward for the Northern Ireland players who have endeared themselves to the Glasgow crowd over the course of the week, gaining many fans in the process.

The Republic of Ireland had better fortunes on the pitch yesterday as they made it to the Men's Plate final, where they will face Egypt.

The Irish side defeated Lithuania 5-4 in their quarter-final before seeing off Costa Rica in the semi-final by the same scoreline.

Their wins mean the Irish haven't been beaten during regular time throughout the tournament, having only lost twice on penalties.

Belfast Telegraph


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