Magic eight as Ireland get off to a flyer

World League, round two
Pool A: Ireland 8 (M Darling 2, M Watt 2, A Sothern, C Harte, B McCandless, S Dowds) Chile 0

Four first quarter goals powered Ireland to a confident 8-0 victory over Chile in their opening World League round two group game in Chula Vista, San Diego.

Mitch Darling got Ireland off to a flyer when he finished off Mikey Watt’s cross in the fourth minute for the opening goal. Watt hit the post soon after but it did become 2-0 when Conor Harte pounced on a good save by Adrian Henriquez from a corner to rocket in a reverse-stick shot.

Craig Fulton leads Ireland's half-time team talk Pic: USA Hockey

Craig Fulton leads Ireland’s half-time team talk Pic: USA Hockey

Alan Sothern scored the third a minute later from another corner before Bruce McCandless closed out a spectacular first quarter with number four in the 15th minute.

Thereafter, the scoring slowed a little as Chile made some inroads, earning a couple of corners but Darling nabbed his second in the closing seconds of the half to extend the lead to 5-0.

Stephen Dowds got the only goal of the third quarter in the 35th minute. Mikey Watt tipped in the seventh after good work from John Jackson and Watt closed out the scoring with seven minutes left from close range.

Chile were denied a consolation goal on the final hooter with a shot that ricocheted off the bar, keeping the Irish clean sheet in tact.

It gave Ireland a strong start to the campaign but they will expect a much tougher tie against Austria in game two, a side from whom a large number recently medalled at the recent indoor World Cup. The two sides meet in Chula Vista at 11.15pm (Irish time) on Sunday.

Speaking afterwards, coach Craig Fulton said: “It was good. We got the win and scored some goals. The big thing was we laid a platform for the rest of the tournament. We can improve but, all respect to Chile, it was a good game for us.

“We have some quality players up front and they played to their strengths, getting good ball in the 25 and we created good chances.

“Austria are a different kind of team, very strong defensively so we look forward to that.”

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, P Caruth, K Shimmins, M Darling, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S O’Donoghue
Subs: J Bell, A Sothern, S Dowds, E Magee, D Carlisle, B McCandless

Chile: A Henriquez, J Zarhi, S Richter, I Gajardo, M Rodriguez, A Berczely, S Kapsch, R Valenzuela, V Martin, F Renz, N Renz
Subs: A Mella, J Maldonado, F Fernandez, T Kanegiesser, F Eggers, R Achondo, I Contardo

Partners of The Hook