Ireland U-16 boys smash Ukraine; girls miss out on bronze

European Youth Championships
Boys U16
Ireland 8 (Luke Madeley 3, Jack Ryan 2, Jack Henderson 2, Alex Burns) Ukraine 0

A powerful final performance saw Ireland’ boys retain European U-16 top tier status and claim a fifth place finish overall.

Going into this game Ukraine held the honour of quickest goal in the tournament, scored in just 10 seconds against Russia and despite a heavy loss against the Netherlands had scored in every game including a 2-2 draw with host nation Austria.

Ireland started well and kept possession at the back and in midfield, however early flurries into the Ukraine circle largely went with any reward.

That was until 20 minutes in when a second phase shot from a penalty corner struck a Ukraine defender on the line and Luke Madeley stepped up to convert the penalty stroke.

Madeley doubled Ireland’s lead with a trademark drag flick four minutes later that nestled into the top right corner past the helpless goalkeeper.

In the second half, relaxed by the two-goal cushion perhaps, Ireland were much more dominant and soon Rowan Poots and Jack Wilson combined to out-fox the defence, allowing Poots along the baseline, to cut back for Jack Henderson to tap in from one yard.

Almost immediately, Ireland broke from their own 25 yd line, with Simon Wolfe finding Wilson wide on the right. Again linking with Poots, the ball made it to Jack Henderson who had a bit more work to do this time as he rounded the goalkeeper and reversed into the backboards.

Jack Ryan got his first of the tournament with another well worked team goal, David Nolan receiving the ball in midfield, picking out McKee in right midfield who then intersected the defence with a pin-point pass to Ryan. He played a one two with Henderson which allowed Ryan the simplest of tap-ins at the back post.

Skipper Madeley got his hat-trick – his second of the competition and eighth goal of the tournament – with another penalty corner drag that rattled hard off a defenders shins on the line and into the net.

It made the Three Rock man the interim leader of the tournament’s scoring charts ahead of the medal matches.
Alex Burns notched up number seven of the game when a broken down penalty corner that sat nicely for Nolan to nonchalantly tap in.

To complete the rout, some sterling defensive work from Peter McKibbin set loose an U-16 patented “Jack Attack” when Jack Wilson broke from the middle of the pitch and found Jack Henderson across goal who in turned slipped back inside to Jack Ryan who coolly slotted the ball through the goalkeepers’ legs.

The Netherlands won the overall title as they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Belgium after extra time and they won the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

Ireland: H Lavery, L Madeley, B McCrea, J Henry, G O’Brien, J McKee, S Wolfe, J Ryan, J Henderson, D Nolan, A Smyth
Subs: A Burns, P McKibbin, R Poots, M Sullivan, J Wilson

** Pictures from Sunday’s game against Spain with thanks to Andrew McKibbin

Results – 5th place playoffs: Ireland 8 (L Madeley 3, J Ryan 2, J Henderson 2, A Burns) Ukraine 0; Russia 6 Belarus 1
3rd place playoff: Austria 0 Spain 3
Final: Belgium 2 Netherlands 2, Netherlands win 5-4 on pens

Rankings: 1. Netherlands 2. Belgium 3. Spain 4. Austria 5= Ireland, Russia 7= Belarus, Ukraine

Ireland 1 (Sara Quill) Spain 2 (Cristina Escude Novell 2)

Despite a spirited late charge, Spain put in a controlled performance to deny Ireland a bronze medal from their third place showdown in Valencia.

Spain took the lead in ninth minute as Cristina Escude Novell dived onto the end of Anna Fito Escamilla’s angled corner drive to the right post.

In response, Ireland stepped up winning their first corner to no avail in the first half. And Escude Novell made it 2-0 with a sparking goal early in the second half, the Spaniards working the ball around the back before launching a razor-sharp incision down the right.

The striker was found on the 25 and cut into the circle before crashing past Ayeisha McFerran from close range.

But, despite Amber Gleeson’s sin-binning, Sara Quill picked up a lifeline with 13 minutes to go, seizing a cheeky opportunity as a left wing free was half-stopped from the left.

She nipped in ahead of the goalkeeper, swerved to the baseline and flicked into the goal. A couple of late corners might have forced extra-time but they could not get a clean strike away and the Spanish hosts held on for the bronze medal.

Ireland: A McFerran, E Tice, A Gleeson, R Gray, A Roopnarinesingh, A Cronin, C Moloney, S Quill, Z Wilson, K Edgar, E Duncan
Subs: J Volpert, E Ryan, R Maguire, S Patton, E Nyland

** To watch Ireland’s U-16 girls in action in their bronze medal game against Spain in the EuroHockey Youth Nations Championships, check out the video below.

Results – third place playoff: Ireland 1 (K Edgar) Spain 2
Final: Netherland 9 Belgium 0
Fifth place playoffs: Czech Republic 3 Poland 0; Italy 1 Russia 0
Standings: 1. Netherlands 2. Belgium 3. Spain 4. Ireland 5=Czech Republic, Italy 7= Russia, Poland

U-18 Celtic Cup
Ireland’s U-18 girls and boys both racked up double-figure victories over Switzerland to claim their respective Celtic Cups in Peffermill this morning, more than surpassing the draws they needed to annex the titles.

Kate Lloyd’s quartet under-pinned the girls’ win while Old Alex pair Hannah McDermott and Millie O’Donnell both hit doubles too in an 11-0 result. Gary Wilkinson grabbed four and Ross Canning scored a hat-trick for the boys -both lifting their tournament tallies to six – as they won out 12-0. Both squads next look forward to games against England in the coming week.

Boys results: Ireland 12 (G Wilkinson 4, R Canning 3, Robinson, J Duncan, L Cole, K Shimmins, J Lorimer) Switzerland 0; Wales 1 Scotland 1
Standings: 1. Ireland 9pts (+17) 2. Wales 4pts (+3) 3. Scotland 4pts (-1) 4. Switzerland 0pts (-19)

Girls results: Ireland 11 (K Lloyd 4, H McDermott 2, M O’Donnell 2, R Chambers, A Haslam, E Carey) Switzerland 0; Scotland 3 Wales 1
Standings: 1. Ireland 9pts (+21) 2. Scotland 3pts (+8) 3. Wales 3pts (-2) 4. Switzerland 0pts (-27)

U-21 International: Ireland 2 Germany 3 (M Krauß 2, M Hayn)
Ireland closed out their three game series against Germany with a fine second half showing that almost saw them produce a stunning comeback. Three nil down at half-time, they nabbed two back to record the closest of their three results – the others were 4-2 and 4-1 – but will take the experience into their European campaign in Lisbon, starting on July 19.

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