13 July 2015
The Men's team have finished in 5th place for the second consecutive World University Games after a win over South Africa today.
Men's (Play off places 5-6): Ireland 3 (A McGreal 18, D McGuinness 64, J Bonner pen 84) South Africa 1 (M Jeremiah 15)
Men's Final: Italy 3 South Korea 0.
Bronze Medal Play off: Japan 0 Brazil 0. Japan won 7-6 on pens.
Ireland completed their World University Games campaign in some style with a convincing 3-1 victory over South Africa in the play off for places 5-6 at Gwangju South Korea.
It's a huge achievement for manager Danny Crowley and his assistant Paul O'Reilly who equalled their feat at the last games in Kazan two years ago when they also steered Ireland to a fifth place, their highest ever finish.
South Africa looked dangerous from the start and they shocked the Irish by taking the lead on 15 minutes when Makola Jeremiah beat Seamus Houghton with a dipping drive.
However that lead only lasted a further three minutes and Alan McGreal, a recent FAI Intermediate Cup winner with Crumlin United, levelled matters with a well taken effort.
Alan O'Sullivan, Jonny Bonner and McGreal then had chances to put Ireland ahead before the break but they all failed to beat goalkeeper Lindokuh Mthembu.
O'Sullivan was again was off target in the early part of the second half with two further chances and he was replaced by Dan McGuinness just before the hour mark.
Ringsend native McGuinness, another Crumlin United man, was only on the pitch some six minutes when he hit the goal of the game an absolute screamer from 25 yards out to put Ireland in front.
Ireland piled on the pressure and Conor McDonald and Eric Molloy might have stretched the lead but were denied by the impressive substitute 'keeper Kevan Van Niekerk.
Makolo Jeremiah then gave the Irish a late scare with a well struck drive that shaved the post before McGreal was taken down in the box and Bonner coolly stroked home the third goal with six minutes remaining to seal a deserved win for Crowley's charges.
Crowley can take huge satisfaction from the performance of his side but he was full of praise for the tremendous effort they had put in over the past 12 days in Gwangju which had seen them play six games during that period in testing weather with the extremely high temperatures and humidity levels causing problems.
'I'm thrilled that at least we managed to finish in the same position as the last time in Kazan but disappointed not to have got among the medals' said Crowley
'We were unlucky to lose out by the only goal to Italy in the quarter finals and they have now gone on to defeat the hosts South Korea in the final 3-0. The whole squad and many of them made huge sacrifices to be here performed magnificently in every game and were a credit to Ireland' added a proud Crowley.
IRELAND: S Houghton (IT Carlow); J Corrigan (Maynooth Univ), D Mernagh (UL), S Last (IT Carlow), R Gaul (DCU); E Molloy (IT Carlow), L Kelly (DCU), C McDonald (Dundalk IT), J Bonner (IT Carlow), A McGreal (UCD); A O'Sullivan (DCU).
Subs: D McGuinness (IT Carlow) for O'Sullivan 58 mins, M Connor (Waterford IT) for Houghton 82 mins, R McEnteer (Dundalk IT) for McDonald 88 mins, N Haverty (IT Carlow), B Nolan (UL), C O'Keeffe (IT Carlow).