Irish U-21s down Turkey and Lithuania

U-21 Men’s EuroHockey Junior Championship III (B)
Ireland 8 (Nick Burns 3, Peter English, Jeremy Duncan, Kirk Shimmins, David Carson, Shane O’Donoghue) Lithuania 0

Another day, another high scoring win for the Irish U-21 men, confirming their place in Sunday’s final with the prospect of playing Slovakia twice over the weekend.

It took 18 minutes to break through before Nick Burns nabbed his first of the day while Peter English’s corner strike and a fourth of the campaign from Jeremy Duncan put together a 3-0 half-time lead.

Five more goals from play followed in the second half with three coming in the closing ten minutes. After the rest day, they play hosts Slovakia next in a tussle to decide who nominally tops the four-team pool before meeting them again on Sunday in the final.

Ireland: Stephen West, Karl Lynch, Matthew Bell, Owen Magee, Stephen Dowds, Kirk Shimmins, Stu Loughrey, Stephen Cole, Nick Burns, Peter English, David Cole
Subs: Stuart O’Grady, Shane O’Donoghue, David Carson, Mark Crooks, Jeremy Duncan

Results: Ireland 8 (N Burns 3, P English, J Duncan, K Shimmins, D Carson, S O’Donoghue) Lithuania 0; Bulgaria 0 Slovakia 8

Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+25) 2. Slovakia 6pts (+10) 3. Lithuania 0pts (-10) 4. Bulgaria 0pts (-25)

Men’s schedule:
Saturday, July 21: Ireland vs Slovakia, 9am; Bulgaria vs Lithuania, 11am
Sunday, July 22: 3rd/4th playoff – Bulgaria vs Lithuania, 9am; Final – Ireland vs Slovakia, 11am

U-21 Women’s Junior Nations Championship III
Ireland 4 (Nicola Gray 2, Naomi Carroll, Ali Meeke) Turkey 0

Ireland’s U-21 women started their European campaign with a sticky 4-0 win over Turkey, belatedly cutting loose in the second half.

Nicola Gray’s deflected first half corner opened the scoring in the 19th minute from the second corner of the day, earned initially by Olivia Roycroft.

But clear openings were tough to come by as Emily Beatty shot wide while Gillian Pinder’s cross was intercepted from Naomi Carroll’s incisive pass from the pick of the chances.

Turkey provided some intermittent threats but nothing sustained and the game was pretty much up when Carroll slotted home a corner rebound from Ireland’s first set-piece of the second half.

Again, a corner won by Hayley Mulcahy offered Gray the chance to double her personal tally with 19 minutes to go. Ali Meeke completed the win from play when she finished off good work from Mulcahy and Leah Ewart. Ireland are second in the table overnight on goals scored as Azerbaijan beat hosts Portugal 6-2.

Ireland: S-J Greer, N Gray, B Flannery, S Greene, N Barr, A-M Morton, L Ewart, A Meeke, E Beatty, H Mulcahy, A Curran
Subs: H Matthews, K McDonald, N Carroll, O Roycroft, G Pinder

Results: Ireland 4 (N Gray 2, N Carroll, A Meeke) Turkey 0; Azerbaijan 6 Portugal 2
Standings: 1. Azerbaijan 3pts (+4) 2. Ireland 3pts (+4) 3. Portugal 0pts (-4) 4. Turkey 0pts (-4)

Women’s schedule:
Friday, July 20: Ireland vs Portugal, 2pm; Azerbaijan vs Turkey, 4pm
Saturday, July 21: Azerbaijan vs Ireland, 2pm; Portugal vs Turkey, 4pm
Sunday, July 22: classification matches

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