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Last-gasp Germany spoil Alan Sothern's big night

Germany 3-2 Ireland

By Graham Hamilton

Alan Sothern celebrated his 100th cap for Ireland last night by scoring twice against Olympic champions Germany in their own backyard.

But it wasn't all good news for the striker as the hosts squeezed out a 3-2 win with two late goals in the first of two Tests at Krefield as both teams prepare for their World League 3 tournaments next month from which they can qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Nevertheless coach Craig Fulton was well pleased with his team's performance, bearing in mind it was the Green Machine's first game in two months whereas the Olympic champions are further ahead in their preparations.

Nine of the ten Ulstermen in the squad were used, with Stephen Dowds and Shane O'Donoghue left on the bench this time as the recalled Timmy Cockram and Johnny Bruton were given their chance.

Christopher Ruhr gave the Germans the lead from open play after 29 minutes only for Sothern to level affairs after good work by Eugene Magee.

In a hectic final quarter, Sothern converted a penalty corner won by Chris Cargo but Germany scored twice through Florian Fuchs four minutes from time and then Christopher Zeller with just ten seconds left.

Meanwhile Irish U-18 coach Andy Smyth has named his 18-man squad for the European championships being staged at Santander from July 19 to July 25, and it contains nine from Ulster.

They are Lisnagarvey quintet San Murray, Mark McNellis, Matthew Nelson, Ryan Getty and James Milliken, Annadale duo Peter McKibben and Calum Robson, Banbridge's Kyle Marshall and Portadown's Zach McClelland.

"It has been a really tough selection to get the right balance but we are in the fortunate position of having our tournament in mid July which gives us a bit of time to backend our preparation in what is a busy year for the players," said Smyth.

Belfast Telegraph


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