Relegated Ireland end Pro League with defeat by GB

Ireland’s Daragh Walsh takes on two Great Britain players in the Pro League game in London

Ireland completed their first season in the Pro League with a 3-0 defeat by Great Britain.

The Irish team's relegation from the Pro League had been confirmed before they took to the Lee Valley pitch because of Spain's victory over Germany.

Mark Tumilty’s side will finish bottom with only two wins, both against Belgium, from their 16 games but with a number of good performances, positive moments and many lessons learnt.

How quickly they have adapted to playing with the major nations of world hockey will only be known when the Olympics get underway in 50 days time because despite the results, this has been the perfect build-up for Ireland.

Great Britain, meanwhile, look to be on track to challenge for medals in Paris this summer.

They’ve rested players for this section of the Pro League, including captain David Ames, but haven’t missed a beat as competition for places in the Olympics squad looks stronger than ever.

Phil Roper opened the scoring from a penalty corner and Sam Ward added another, also from a corner, after Irish goalkeeper Jamie Carr had made an initial save.

Before half-time Ward had scored his second of the game to make it 3-0.

If Ireland are to be competitive at the Olympics then converting penalty corners and keeping their discipline will be important.

They failed to score from six corners in this game and in the second quarter both Daragh Walsh and Matthew Nelson received green cards.

Despite that Ireland didn’t take a backwards step in the third quarter and created chances they once again didn’t take advantage of.

Both sides continued to press but there would be no more goals.

Great Britain’s next game is at home against Australia on Saturday.

Irish coach Tumilty now has to weigh up his selections for the Olympics with the squad due to be named later this month.