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Ireland handed harsh lesson as Germans run up nine

By Graham Hamilton

Ireland were given a rude awakening as to what they can expect at the Rio Olympics when current champions Germany crushed them 9-0 in Hamburg last night.

True, Craig Fulton was without World Goalkeeper of the Year David Harte and also the Banbridge trio of Eugene Magee, Matthew Bell and Drew Carlisle due to the EuroHockey League semi-finals and the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy tournaments respectively.

The coach was also experimenting in what was the first of three internationals against the World No. 3 - the others are this evening and on Sunday morning - but the outcome is a tad worrying when you consider the Green Machine face the Germans again in their third pool game in Rio.

The last time the two met in competitive action was the Europeans, with the Germans winning 2-0 before going on to land silver with the Irish getting bronze, but the Germans, who are getting ready for next month's Champions Trophy in London, showed how far they are advanced in preparations with some clinical finishing.

Two early goals left Ireland trailing and in the second quarter the hosts added three more, exploiting the gaps left at the back as Fulton's men pushed forward trying to get back into the game.

Two more strikes early in the third quarter, followed by a penalty stroke and a back-post tap-in, left the Irish nine adrift and a lot to think about ahead of this evening's second encounter.

Belfast Telegraph


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