Hockey: Ireland Under-21s thrash Czechs 8-0
Heavy win over hosts puts Ireland into semis of second-tier Euro Junior Championships
Callum Robinson was on target as Ireland Under-21s routed the Czech Republic. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Ireland Under-21s 8 Czech Republic Under-21s 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.
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.
Four goals followed in the second quarter to kill off the tie as a contest as Mark Samuel, Conor Empey, Robson and Ben Johnson all fired home.
Three further goals in the last 10 minutes stretched out the victory to eight, moving Ireland top of the group on goal difference and they will stay there with a draw or better on Wednesday against Turkey (2.45pm, Litice).
It moves them a big step closer to potential promotion back to the elite division.
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 (7pm, Valencia) and France in their remaining group games to have any chance of beating the drop.
On home turf, Ireland’s senior women ended their three-game series at Stormont with a fairly muted 2-1 win to Scotland, the first loss of Sean Dancer’s reign as coach.
Lorna Cruikshank gave the Scots the lead from a penalty corner before half-time and the game was done and dusted when Sarah Jamieson shot in on the backhand in the last 10 minutes.
Ireland left out Chloe Watkins and Megan Frazer with injury niggles while Lizzie Colvin was unavailable. The Green Army will be back in action in a fortnight’s time with two games against Italy in Ulster.