EuroHockey 2013: Ireland men face relegation scrap

Ireland beat Russia on Friday
Ireland beat Russia on Friday

TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013

Boom, Belgium
17-25 August
All the home nations' matches will be streamed live on the BBC via the red button, online, the BBC Sport app and Connected TVs.

Ireland's men face a relegation battle after being soundly beaten 4-0 by Spain in EuroHockey's relegation pool.

Xavi Lleonart, Gabriel Dabanch, Eduard Tubau and Andres Mir scored for Spain as Ireland wilted in the Belgian heat.

The defeat means Ireland must await the outcome of Saturday's Spain-Poland game and may then need to beat the Czech Republic to avoid relegation.

"I'm bitterly disappointed. Relegation is quite a real danger," Ireland captain John Jackson told BBC Sport.

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John Jackson issues a rallying call after Ireland lose to Spain in EuroHockey 2013 relegation pool.

"This was not the performance we expected or needed and there's a lot of work needed now to make sure we get it right on Sunday.

"An Irish summer's not quite like this - I'm not going to say we coped, but it is what it is. I don't think the conditions played a part, we just weren't quite at the races today.

"We need to make sure we do a professional job against the Czech Republic, and we'll see what happens."

If Poland beat Spain or the two teams draw in Saturday's other relegation pool clash, Ireland will need to beat the Czechs to stay up. If Poland lose, a draw will be enough for Ireland.

Any other set of results sends Ireland down, despite having come close to reaching the semi-finals.

Ireland finished EuroHockey's group stage level on points with England but missed out by virtue of their inferior goal difference.

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