Ireland secure best Emerging Nations ranking with big win
16 Jun. 2019
Ireland finished their campaign at the 3rd IHF Emerging Nations Championship with a clear victory over Malta that earned them 11th place on the final ranking. With the loss in the placement match, Malta finish 12th.
For Ireland, it is the best position on the final ranking at the event, after they placed 13th in 2015 and 12th in 2017.
11/12 PLACEMENT MATCH
Malta vs Ireland 18:39 (11:23)
Ireland led the game from start to finish and their victory was never in doubt. As Ireland had already defeated Malta in the preliminary round, 41:23, there was little question even before they took the court that they would not collect the win. The result means Malta leave Georgia after only defeats on court in Tbilisi Sport Palace.
Ireland’s victory in the opening game on Sunday was even more commanding than the result in the preliminary round, with a 21-goal margin at the final whistle. Ireland scored the first goal and held the upper hand through the entire 60 minutes, leading 11:8 at the end of the first quarter and taking a 12-goal advantage into the break.
The win was therefore essentially decided at half-time, and when Ireland stayed in front 30:15 as the last quarter began the outcome was clear.
After he joined the Ireland line-up as a player replacement for the final game, Anthony Tomas had a strong game in goal, with a 40% save rate. His fellow keeper, Sean O’Reilly, made 11 saves at 68%. The top scorer of the game was Konstantinos Thompson, with nine goals for Ireland.
Players of the match:
Ireland: Sean D’Arcy
Malta: Luigi Rizzo