Magic eight sees Under-21 men through to Euros semis

Men’s Under-21 EuroHockey Championships II, Pool A

Ireland 8 (M Crookshanks 2, C Empey 2, M Samuel, C Robson, B Johnson, G Sarratt) Czech Republic 0

The Irish Under-21 men were in ruthless form as they smashed their Czech Republic hosts 8-0 in Litice to guarantee their safe passage through to the EuroHockey Junior Championships II semi-finals.

Ireland have won two from two in the Czech Republic

Matthew Crookshanks started the goal-rush in the 11th minute when he slapped home after Callum Robson teed him up with a quickly-taken free.

Mark Samuel made it two when he turned home at the near post from a right-wing attack, the first of four quickfire goals in the second quarter.

Conor Empey was head of the queue to add a third when Robson intercepted a long clearance on halfway and his speedy run made for a huge overload in the circle.

Robson smashed home his own goal in the 21st minute from a narrow angle and Ben Johnson stretched the lead to 5-0 before half-time.

The third quarter was scoreless but three further goals came in the last 10 minutes stretched out the victory to eight. Empey scored from the penalty spot, Crookshanks coolly finished off a pitch length counter-attack and Guy Sarratt whipped in a corner.

It moved Ireland top of the group on goal difference ahead of next opponents Turkey and they will stay there with a draw or better on Wednesday against (2.45pm, Litice).

Despite not playing, the women’s Under-21s, however, saw their chances of staying in the A division take a hit as Russia beat France.

Ireland are back in action on Wednesday but need to beat both Spain on Wednesday (7pm, Valencia) and France in their remaining group games to have any chance of beating the drop.

The Volvo Six Nations in Eindhoven returns to action, too, on Wednesday with Germany the opposition for the Irish Under-18 and 16 boys and girls.

Men’s Under-21 EuroHockey Championships II, Pool A: Ireland 8 (M Crookshanks 2, C Empey 2, M Samuel, C Robson, B Johnson, G Sarratt) Czech Republic 0

Wednesday fixtures

Women

Under-21 EuroHockey Championships, Pool A: Ireland v Spain, Valencia, 7pm

Under-18 Girls: Ireland v Germany, 12.40pm, Eindhoven

Under-16 Girls: Ireland v Germany, 10.20am, Eindhoven

Men

Under-21 EuroHockey Championships II, Pool A: Ireland v Turkey, Litice, 2.45pm

Under-18 Boys: Ireland v Germany, 2pm, Eindhoven

Under-16 Boys: Ireland v Germany, 3.40pm, Eindhoven

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