John Jermyn marked his 179th and final international cap in fantastic style as his goal secured Ireland a 1-1 draw against France in Garryduff yesterday.
Hundreds came out to support the 36-year-old as he bowed out of international hockey, and the loudest roar of the night came when Jermyn slotted a penalty corner into the bottom right corner in the fifth minute, increasing his record to 93 goals for the Green Machine.
France came into the game in the second quarter, but sublime shot stopping from David Harte and Stuart Loughrey kept the scores level going into the second half.
The French levelled it up in the third after a crash ball was deflected in by Tynevez, and although Ireland infiltrated the French defence in the fourth quarter, the game ended level.
Jermyn believes though that despite the scoreline, Ireland can take positives from the night ahead of the remaining two fixtures.
“It was a good start but I think it just shows that they are just off the back of six games, they’ve got practice under their belt, whereas we were just a little bit rusty but we came into it a bit more during the course of the game. I think we edged it so hopefully down in UCC it will be two wins,” he said after the game.
Action switches to the Mardyke for Saturday and Sunday’s matches where Ireland face the French in the remaining games in the series with Jermyn confirmed as stepping out.
The games will also serve as Craig Fulton’s final outings as coach before he takes up a role with Belgium as senior men’s assistant coach.
Cork C of I hero Jermyn first picked up a hockey stick 32 years ago, and first tasted success as he came up through the Ashton Secondary School system, claiming an All-Ireland schools title in 1999. His international debut followed in June 2002 as a dynamic and energetic 20-year-old, and he got the first of his 92 goals a couple of days later against Scotland, memories he will treasure forever.
“Lately now (I) just appreciate every minute of it because there were times five or six years ago that there was the most intense training and driving up and down from Dublin, maybe not appreciating as much as you should but, looking back on it, there’s unbelievable memories, I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Having narrowly missed out on going to both the 2008 and the 2012 Olympics, the Corkman finally got his chance in 2016, and that sticks out as the highlight of his career.
“2008 and 2012 are definitely the lows, but getting to the Olympics and playing in four Europeans and having some great results there, there’s been plenty of highs and lows, the Olympics is definitely the high.”
As the curtain closes on Jermyn’s playing career , a coaching role would be easy to come by for the dynamic number 11, but the small issue of a family and club hockey will keep him on his toes.
“I have a three year-old-daughter first of all so her under sevens team is all I’ll be coaching, maybe in the future but I’m just gonna enjoy my club hockey now for the next few years.”
Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, J Bell, C Cargo, M Nelson, A Sothern, J Jermyn, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, C Harte, P Caruth.
Subs: N Glassey, J Dale, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, S Loughrey, M Ingram.
France: A Thieffry, P van Straaten, T Genestet, H Genestet, B Rogeau, V Lockwood, C Masson, F Goyet, C Peters-Deutz, E Tynevez, V Charlet.
Subs: M Branicki, A Ferec, J-L Kieffer, N Dumont, G Baumgarten, A Coisne, C Saunier