Nikki Evans’ hat trick inspired Ireland to an opening game 4-1 win over South Africa, starting their Hockey World League semi-final in style in Valencia.
The shadow-boxing is over; let the games commence for Darren Smith and the Irish women as they bid for a first ever Olympic berth as they begin their World League 3 campaign in Valencia, Spain against South Africa on Wednesday afternoon (11.30am, Irish time).
Kyle Good has been rewarded for an excellent club season in Belgium with a return to the Irish panel for the Olympic qualifier – the World League 3 – in Antwerp which gets underway for Ireland on June 23.
The Road to Rio was outlined this week for both the Irish men and women with the confirmation of their respective schedules at the World League semi-finals this summer.
Aine Connery’s nerveless penalty saw Ireland land the UDG Healthcare World League Round 2 title at Belfield, completing a perfect week with a final victory over Canada.
While the Irish women push forward their Olympic agenda at Belfield this week, Craig Fulton’s men’s team have been given another nudge forward from an unexpected source.
Scarcely entertaining but Ireland got the job done and took another assured performance step forward in the Olympic qualification process with a 2-0 quarter-final win over Lithuania in Belfield in the UDG Healthcare World League Round Two.
Ireland proved far too strong for Turkey to complete their UDG Healthcare World League Round 2 with a huge 13-0 win, with Naomi Carroll netting four times at Belfield.
Set piece goals from Aine Connery and Kate Dillon saw Ireland make it two wins from two at the UDG Healthcare World League Round 2 in Belfield, seeing off Canada 2-1; there were also wins for Ukraine, Chile and Austria
Ireland cruised to a powerful opening victory in Pool A of the UDG Healthcare Hockey World League Round 2, beating Ukraine 5-0 at Belfield; Canada made a confident first step forward as they saw off the world number 38 side Turkey; Belarus and Chile also win on day one
On the eve of World League round two in Dublin, Darren Smith gives his thoughts on the tournament; Megan Frazer talks about the sacrifices required to compete at the highest level while we outline how you can follow the tournament
Player of the tournament Shane O’Donoghue was once again the goal-scoring hero as his 35th minute goal saw Ireland beat Austria 2-1 in San Diego, capping a superb week with a sixth successive victory.
A pair of Shane O’Donoghue penalty corners around the 40-minute mark saw Ireland win through to the final of the Hockey World League round two in San Diego. More importantly, the result means Ireland are into WL3 when the Olympic qualifying places will be doled out.
Ireland powered through to the semi-finals of the World League round two with a 12-2 win over Trinidad and Tobago with nine different scorers on the mark in San Diego.
Ireland topped their World League round two group with a third straight win in San Diego, seeing off Italy 2-0 despite being slightly wasteful with their many chances.
Ireland made it two wins from two at the World League Round Two at a rain-soaked Chula Vista in San Diego, seeing off a tricky Austrian opponent 3-1 to add to Saturday’s 8-0 win over Chile.
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.
After nine warm-up matches in 2015 already, Craig Fulton’s Irish senior men formally start their Olympic qualifying bid at Chula Vista in California at the World League round two, needing a top three finish to keep their road to Rio on course.
Seventeen of the 18 spots in Darren Smith’s squad for the women’s World League 2 in Dublin have been finalised with Ali Meeke and Yvonne O’Byrne vying for the last defender’s spot.
Craig Fulton has named a hugely experienced panel for the first phase of the Olympic qualifying process with the release of his 18 player panel for World League Round Two which tips off in San Diego on February 28.