Saturday, July 11, 2009

European U-18 Championships: Day Five

Ireland U-18 girls 3 (Chloe Watkins, Brenda Flannery, Katie Codyre) Russia 2
Ireland's U-18s survived relegation from the A division, scoring three minutes from time against Russia to end their EuroHockey Youth Championships in fifth place courtesy of their 3-2 win over Russia this morning.

France's 3-0 defeat of Lithuania meant only a win would see Ireland advance, leading to a frenetic opening which saw the scoreboard up to 2-2 within eight minutes before the game settled down.

Chloe Watkins broke the deadlock in the first minute, striking home first time from Deirdre Duke's (pictured, left) cross. Russia levelled but Brenda Flannery's straight strike from Ireland's first corner five minutes in. A diving deflection completed the early exchanges

A tense, end-to-end battle followed thereafter with the stalemate, which would have suited Russia, eventually broken when Hannah Matthews' 67th minute pass was finished off by Katie Codyre at the near post. Watkins, Gillian Pinder and Ali Meeke subsequently played keep-ball to run down the clock and complete the win.

Coach Mary Logue saidd afterwards: "I am delighted to win today after the dissappointment of yesterday's defeat to Lithuania. The girls showed tremendous character to get the win we needed to secure 5th position and the A Division for 2011.”

5th-8th playoff pool (points/goal difference): 5. Ireland 6pts (+1) 6. France 4pts (+2) 7. Russia 4pts (0) 8. Lithuania 3pts (-3)

* For more pictures from Ireland vs Russia, click here

Ireland U-18 boys 5 (Steven Dowds 3, Kyle Good 2) France 3
Ireland took first place in the EuroHockey Youth Trophy with this final win over France to go with the promotion they earned the previous day in Vienna.

Steven Dowds' impressive hat-trick - featuring two reverses and a forehand slap - combined with Kyle Good's double did the damage as Ireland outlasted the French.

France took an early lead but Dowds' and Good's first turned the game around and they were never to trail again. France pulled back from 2-1 and 3-2 down to level twice but two goals in the final 20 minutes saw Ireland pull clear, aided by a couple of decent Stephen West saves.

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