Scotland and Ireland men battle out entertaining draw at Titwood

It ended honours even at Titwood as Scotland and Ireland battled out a 1-1 draw in the first of three uncapped test matches. Rob Harwood equalised for Scotland in the final quarter and the two will meet again on Saturday at 4pm.

There was searing sunshine as the match got underway, but the heat didn’t stifle the action. The opening quarter was a very even affair but the better opportunities fell to Ireland. Three early penalty corners were awarded to Ireland but it all three efforts were well defended.

Then a penalty stroke was awarded to the Irish and it was buried into the roof of the net by Luke Madeley, despite a great attempt to Tommy Alexander, to make it 1-0.

Michael Bremner surged down the right in retaliation but his pass fizzed across goal and Andy McConnell couldn’t deflect it goal ward as the Scots put the Irish under pressure.

Scotland began to probe the Irish defence in the second quarter. Cammy Golden came close with low shot on the reverse, but it was booted clear by Jamie Carr in goal for Ireland. Then Struan Walker’s deflected effort evaded the near post.

The Blue Sticks came close again with a penalty corner towards the end of the half but the effort went wide of the left post to keep the score 1-0 at half time.

Scotland stepped up the tempo after half time and McConnell was first to be denied when his shot was blocked from the top of the D.

Then Dan Coultas had a penalty corner saved low to the left. Walker was then denied when he unleashed a reverse shot to the top corner but the keeper read it well and batted the ball clear.

In the final quarter Scotland got their deserved goal. Rob Harwood equalised after some lovely build-up that ended with Lee Morton firing the ball across goal for a Harwood tap-in. 1-1.

David Forrester was called into action in the Scotland goal after a swift counter attack from the Irish, the Scotland keeper got down well to his right to stop a low effort.

Coultas was denied twice with late penalty corner attempts as the Scots went hunting for a winner. The winner wouldn’t come and the match ended in a draw, which was a fair result.

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