U-16 girls Czech into bronze medal match

EuroHockey Nations U-16 Championships
Ireland 5 (Anna Roopnarinesingh 2, Kathryn Edgar 2, Eimear Ryan) Czech Republic 1 (Veronika Novakova)

The Irish U-16 girls bounced back in superb style to beat the Czech Republic in Valencia to earn a European U-16 bronze medal date with Spain on Sunday afternoon.

They took the lead inside three minutes with a classy goal, Anna Roopnarinesingh putting Sara Quill clean through and she selflessly picked out Kathryn Edgar at the back post beyond the goalkeeper to sweep home.

It was two soon after when a corner was switched left to Clodagh Moloney and her bash across goal was turned in by Roopnarinesingh.

The captain got her second with a delightful baseline run, picking the ball up from Emma Kernoghan wide on the left wing and she drifted in before showing a dummy at the left post and slipping in for a 3-0 half-time lead.

Eight minutes into the second period, the Czechs got a lifeline when a corner strike deflected high. Off balance, Naomi Costley did brilliantly to get a palm to the ball but Veronika Novakova was following up and she volleyed in.

It came during their best spell, winning a number of corners, but Ireland rallied well to put the game beyond doubt with 17 minutes to go. Edgar tore down the left wing, out-stripping the last line of defence before nicking the ball away from the goalkeeper.

Eimear Ryan was on hand to nudge home the goal. Edgar did get her second goal five minutes later in almost carbon-copy fashion, racing past the right back but this time spotted a gap and slid in from close range. Ireland will face hosts Spain at 4pm (Irish time) for the bronze medal.

Ireland: Naomi Costley, Jenna Volpert, Amber Gleeson, Rachel Gray, Anna Roopnarinesingh, Clodagh Moloney, Sara Quill, Emma Kenoghan, Zoe Wilson, Kathryn Edgar, Emma Duncan
Subs: Elena Tice, Eimear Ryan, Ruth Maguire, Sara Patton, Edel Nyland

Group A results: Ireland 5 Czech Republic 1; Italy 1 Netherlands 13
Standings: 1. Netherlands 9pts (+32) 2. Ireland 6pts (0) 3. Italy 3pts (-15) 4. Czech Republic 0pts (-17)

Group B results: Russia 0 Belgium 4; Spain 5 Poland 0
Standings: 1. Belgium 9pts (+7) 2. Spain 6pts (+11) 3. Poland 3pts (-6) 4. Russia 0pts (-12)

European Youth Championships

Boys U16
Ireland 0 Spain 3 (Lucas Garcia Alcalde 2, Mato de la Joya)

The Irish U-16 boys were left having to lift their spirits once again after a solid team performance went unrewarded in Vienna against Spain, ending their hopes of a medal and must now beat Ukraine to secure ‘A’ division status.

Spain started the stronger, pressing Ireland who took a while to get going in the heat of the lunchtime pass-back. This was a shaky time and Ireland were lucky not to find themselves few goals down immediately. Weathering this early pressure Ireland increasingly enjoyed more possession and looked more threatening as the half wore on.

Luke Madeley had the chance to take the lead however his dragflick went inches wide of the right hand side upright. From more pressure, another penalty corner was won, this time a variation that was never really caught by Jack Ryan, consequently the Spanish defence cleared to safety.

Despite better possession and control of the midfield through McKee, Burns, Wolfe and Nolan, clear-cut chances were few in number.

Spain punished Ireland for their failure to convert when an Ireland hit-out was taken as a rolling ball and then overturned by the umpire to a Spanish free-in.

It was quickly taken, attacking the circle and despite an original save by James Carr, the rebound was tucked away by Lucas Garcia Alcalde with less than two mins to the half time hooter.

It left Ireland chasing the result, needing a win to earn a shot at bronze, but the harder they pushed, the more susceptible to counters Ireland became.

Carr had to make several saves including a great one-on-one, quickly coming off his line, tracking the Spanish forward as he attempted to round him and when everyone thought a goal was to follow, the Irish netminder pounced on the ball and cleared to safety. With the open nature of the second half it was only a matter of time until someone continued the scoring.

Unfortunately, it was Spain that doubled their lead in the 47th minute from somewhat fortunate circumstances, – a half cleared Spanish circle entry was met at the top left of the circle and a Garcia Alcalde mis-hit, bobbled through a crowd and caught out Carr.

Ireland had adequate chances to get back into the fixture when both Andy Smyth then Rowan Poots tried to break through the Spanish lines but were eventually crowded out by an increasingly packed defence.

Jonny McKee looked as if a couple of moments of trickery would win a corner or two, however today it wasn’t paying off.

In the last ten minutes, Spain were almost exclusively camped in their own 23m area which the exception of a few incursions into the Ireland half however, again with less than two minutes remaining, Spain killed off the contest with a Mato de la Joya counter attack goal and sealed their place in the bronze medal match.

Ireland finish third in the group behind Belgium and Spain ub the tougher of the two groups and play Ukraine at 9.30am (Irish time) for fifth place. The Netherlands play Belgium in the Final, Austria play Spain for bronze and Russia play Belarus.

Ireland: J Carr, L Madeley, P McKibbin, B McCrea, M Sullivan, J McKee, S Wolfe, A Burns, J Wilson, J Ryan, N Byrne
Subs: G O’Brien, R Poots, J Wilson, A Smyth, J Henry.

Group B results: Ireland 0 Spain 3; Belgium 15 Belarus 0
Standings: 1. Belgium 9pts (+17) 2. Spain 6pts (+16) 3. Ireland 6pts (+6) 4. Belarus 0pts (-39)

Group A: Netherland 10 Ukraine 1; Russia 0 Austria 5
Standings: 1. Netherland 9pts (+25) 2. Austria 4pts (+3) 3. Russia 3pts (-16) 4. Ukraine 1pt (-12)

Scotland 0 Ireland 3 (Ross Canning 2, Gary Wilkinson)

A pair of Ross Canning goals and one from Gary Wilkinson have Ireland’s U-18 boys dead set to add their Celtic crown to the ones already won by their male U-21 and senior counterparts. They beat the Peffermill hosts 3-0, Canning getting the reward for his side’s perseverance in the first half, camping in Scottish territory.

His second and Wilkinson’s effort closed out the result midway through the second period. In the other game Wales beat Switzerland 5-0 to move above the Scots on goal difference with Ireland in pole position after two straight victories. It means a draw against the Swiss (9am) would see Ireland home.

Boys Celtic Cup results: Ireland 3 Scotland 0; Wales 5 Switzerland 0; Scotland 4 Switzerland 2; Ireland 3 Wales 1
Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+5) 2. Wales 3pts (+3) 3. Scotland 3pts (-1) 4. Switzerland 0pts (-7)

Scotland 2 (Kirsten Peters, Amber McNeill) Ireland 4 (Katie Mullan 2, Kate Lloyd, Chloe Brown)

Ireland’s girls are also on the verge of winning the Celtic Cup as they notched their second win of the competition and, like the boys, need just a point against Swtizerland on Sunday to win the competition.

They were ahead in only 42 seconds but were pegged back by Kirsten Peters and Amber McNeill handed Scotland a 45th minute lead. But Ireland responded brilliantly and Katie Mullan’s double was instrumental in turning the tide while Kate Lloyd was on the mark for the fourth time in the tournament. The girls conclude the tournament with a 11am tip off against the Swiss.

Girls Celtic Cup, results: Scotland 2 Ireland 4; Wales 8 Switzerland 0; Scotland 8 Switzerland 0; Ireland 8 Wales 0
Standings: 1. Ireland 6pts (+10) 2. Scotland 3pts (+6) 3. Wales 3pts (0) 4. Switzerland 0pts (-16)

U-21 International: Ireland 1 (Nicola Gray) Germany 4 (Pia Oldhafer 2, Hanna Schniewind, Rebecca Grote)
Ireland’s U-21s fell to a second defeat to Germany in the pouring rain in Berlin as the hosts once again showed why they are one of the favourites for the ‘A’ division title.

Hanna Schniewind’s corner goal put Germany ahead at the break 1-0 and a pair of Pia Oldhafer efforts extended the margin before Nicola Gray cracked home a corner.

But Rebecca Grote restored the three-goal wedge. The Irish U-21 girls conclude their three-game tour on Sunday.

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