India stunned by Ireland, to play for 5th-6th place


Ramandeep Singh in action during India-Ireland Sultan Azlan Shah hockey match.(Hockey India)

Ipoh, March 9: Having grabbed the lead on two occasions, Indian men’s hockey team fumbled in the end as they lost 3-2 to Ireland in their last round-robin match at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018 in Ipoh on Friday.
Ramandeep Singh (10’) and Amit Rohidas (26’) scored for India while Shane O’Donoghue (24’), Sean Murray (36’) and Lee Cole (42’) scored the winner for Ireland.10After rekindling their hopes of making the final with a convincing 5-1 win against Malaysia in their previous match, India vied for another win on the trot and got on to a start that reflected this intent.
Playing structured and disciplined hockey, India won a PC in the 10th minute. Varun Kumar was at the first battery but it was Ramandeep Singh who came up with a great finish to direct the flick into the net with a tap after he had injected the ball perfectly for the dragflicker. Soon after India won another PC when Sumit Kumar found Irish defender’s foot while forcing an assist from the baseline. But this time Varun Kumar’s flick was far wide.
With 1-0 lead, India had to contain Ireland and ensure they stayed ahead. India denied Ireland their first PC of a match with a decision for video referral that was ruled in India’s favour. But conceded an equaliser soon after through Shane O’Donoghue. The 24th minute field goal was good team work between Kirk Shimmins, Sean Murray and O’Donoghue. In the 26th minute though Amit Rohidas helped India reclaim the lead with a splendid PC, finding the top net with a fiercely-struck dragflick. A foot foul by Dipsan Tirkey saw India concede a PC only 15 seconds prior to the half-time hooter but Suraj Karkera was on top of his job to save the PC. (PTI)