Partially Sighted team win Four Nations tournament in Hereford.
England 2-1 Republic Of Ireland
Four Nations Partially Sighted Tournament
4-6 June 2010
thePoint4, Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford
England won the Four Nations Partially Sighted tournament on Sunday, with a gutsy display against a Republic Of Ireland team that had already beaten them in the opening game of the event.
England’s quest for revenge began in the worst possible way though, with the Irish team taking the lead after only 30 seconds of the game with a goal from the impressive Gerard Prendergast.
England goalkeeper Brendan Dix was kept busy and made several quality saves to ensure that England stayed within touching distance of their opponents.
As the first half progressed, England had chances through Kevin Price and Chris Holland but Ireland keeper Robert Vaughan was as impressive as his English counterpart in a tight and edgy affair.
With the score at 1-0 in favour of the Irish at half time, England Manager Graham Keeley rallied his troops, but for all of their attacking guile they could not unlock the Irish defence.
Entering the last quarter of the game it looked as though Republic Of Ireland would once again hold off the England team and emerge as the tournament champions but they had not accounted for the grit and determination that the largely untried team line-up were about to show.
With five minutes of the game remaining Kevin Price poked a shot home to level the match but the drama was far from over. Price had earlier been booked for England and as the team accumulated five fouls any further foul would have resulted in a long penalty to the Irish.
Then. with the game looking like it would go into extra time, England managed to find a gap in the Irish defence and Danny Gauden struck what was to be the winning goal.
England survived a nervous final three minutes but held on with the highly impressive Chris Holland at the heart of everything that England did.
The final whistle saw scenes of jubilation for an England team that were comprehensively beaten in their opening match against Republic Of Ireland but who had fought back with three wins in three days against the National VI League team, Spain and then the final victory over the Irish.
In the day's other game Spain beat British Blind Sports, National Visually Impaired League team on penalty kicks after the match finished in a thrilling eight goal draw.England:
Brendan Dix (GK), Danny Gauden, Kevin Gauden, Chris Holland, Jeremy Vernaeve, Steve Daley (c), Kevin Price, John McDougall, Tom Bailey (GK)Republic Of Ireland:
Robert Vaughan (GK), Graham Derham, Ian McLoughlin, Richard Baxter, Gerard Prendergast, Niall Durham, Patrick Coates 9c), Ciaran O Brien, Adam Behan (GK)