Ireland put eight past Chile at Hockey World League

Monsktown retain Leinster division one title after Pembroke loss

 Mitch Darling scored twice in Ireland’s 8-0 win over Chile in their opening World League round-two group game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Mitch Darling scored twice in Ireland’s 8-0 win over Chile in their opening World League round-two group game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

 

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 on Saturday evening.

It was plain sailing from the moment Mitch Darling got his first goal, four minutes in, and further strikes from Conor Harte, Alan Sothern and Bruce McCandless meant the result was scarcely in doubt.

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 before Mikey Watt added two more in the closing phases.

It gave Ireland a strong start to the campaign but they will expect a much tougher tie against Austria in game two of Group A in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Austrians, who feature a large number of indoor World Cup bronze medallists, beat Italy 3-1 in Saturday’s other game.

The competition is the first phase in Ireland’s Olympic qualifying bid with a top-three finish from the eight-team competition the target.

In Leinster, Monkstown retained the division one title on Saturday before they even took the field as Pembroke’s surprise 3-2 loss to Corinthian meant they were out of range.

Town duly celebrated with an 8-0 win over Rathgar with Davy Carson scoring four times and Gareth Watkins netting a hat-trick. Meanwhile, Glenanne claimed the third Irish Hockey League place with a 5-0 win over Avoca. Three Rock Rovers beat UCD 6-2 to stay fourth but will need to win on on the final day of the season to stay ahead of Railway Union in the race for the last of the automatic IHL berths.

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