Ireland’s U-18 boys plans for their European Championships II in Gasawa, Poland have been disrupted following the last minute withdrawal of Belarus.
It has reduced the competition to six nations, meaning the original plan of playing in two groups before feeding into semi-finals and classification games has now been replaced by a one-team round-robin pool
Graham Shaw’s side will, as a result, play their first game on Monday against Italy rather than lining out on Tuesday as originally scheduled.
Assistant coach Gareth Evans explains this goes against their best laid plans: “The late change of plans has big time affected us. If we had known beforehand we were playing on Monday, we would have gotten a Saturday flight to Poland [rather than Sunday].
“We had a training session organised for Monday, we now play instead it has very much upset our plans.”
The target remains the same, tough, with the side aiming to win the tournament but promotion for finishing in the top two and earning promotion is the “worst case scenario”.
In the new format, after they meet Italy, Wales are next on the list on Tuesday before playing Switzerland (Thursday), Poland (Saturday) and Russia (Sunday).
Elsewhere on Saturday, Ireland’s U-18 girls drew 1-1 with England in Lilleshall with Sarah Hawkshaw scoring the goal.
The Irish U-16 boys were 6-2 winners over Scotland in Wrexham in a tri-nations event with Aaron Martin netting a hat trick, David Nolan scoring twice and Freddie Morris was also on the mark. It means a draw against Wales on Sunday will confirm their title win.
On the girls’ side, Elena Tice scored in a 1-1 with Scotland. For them, a win on Sunday against Wales will win them the title.
EuroHockey Youth Nations U-18 Championships II (one pool): Ireland, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Wales, Italy
Monday, July 8: Ireland vs Italy, 12pm
Tuesday, July 9: Ireland vs Wales, 12pm
Thursday, July 11: Ireland vs Switzerland, 2pm
Saturday, July 13: Ireland vs Poland, 3pm
Sunday, July 14: Ireland vs Russia, 12.30pm
Ireland U-18 boys squad for EuroHockey Championships II from July 8 to July 14: Gavin Adams (Methody/Lisnagarvey), Jamie Carr (St Andrews/Monkstown), David Kane (St Kilian’s DSD/Pembroke), Luke Madeley (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers), Lee Cole (St Andrew’s/Monkstown), Johnny McKee (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Michael Robson (Sullivan Upper/Annadale), Alex Burns (Midleton/Cork C of I), Ben Campbell (St Andrews/YMCA), Kevin Mullins (Mount Temple/Clontarf), Gary Wilkinson (Ashton/Cork C of I), Sam O’Connor (St Benildus/Glenanne), Harry Morris (St Columbas/Three Rock Rovers), Ben Cosgrove (Banbridge Academy/Banbridge), Simon Wolfe (Ashton/Cork C of I), Neil Byrne (St Colmcilles/Glenanne), James Lorimer (RBAI/Lisnagarvey); Mark Loughrey (St Andrews/Pembroke)
Manager: Mark Murray
Coach: Graham Shaw
Asst. Coach: Gareth Evans
Video: Gareth Borland
Girls U-16 Tri Nations, Wrexham: Ireland 1 (Lena Tice) Scotland 1
Girls U-18 Friendly, Lilleshall: Ireland 1 (Sarah Hawkshaw) England 1
Boys U-16 Tri Nations, Wrexham: Ireland 6 (Aaron Martin 3, David Nolan 2, Freddie Morris) Scotland 2