‘Biggest match of our lives’ awaits Garvey stars

Jonny Bell. Pic: Presseye
Jonny Bell. Pic: Presseye

Garvey skipper Jonny Bell says this weekend will see the ‘biggest match’ of his life - and he won’t even be playing.

He and his Ireland team-mates will discover if they will be on board the plane to the Rio Olympics next year, and their hopes lie in the hands of world number ones Australia.

Ireland are relying on the Aussies to win the Oceania Cup, in which they will likely face New Zealand in the final on Sunday (pass-back 4am BST).

The Ireland squad, including its Garvey stars, will all watch the game together at the Europa Hotel.

“It’s been a long wait. We have been trying to keep our emotions in check,” said Bell.

“It’s a strange feeling that we aren’t playing in potentially the biggest match of our lives. The potential reward for years of hard work rests on the outcome of one result.”

Bell and Paul Gleghorne were part of the Ireland squad that almost did enough to secure a place in Rio.

Garvey team-mates Timmy Cockram, James Lorimer and Neal Glassey would also be hopeful of a place in the squad, along with teenage star Sean Murray, who made his Ireland debut in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Argentina.