Friday, July 10, 2009

European U-18 Championships: Day Four

Ireland U-18 Boys 1 (Stu Loughrey) Wales 0
Andy Smyth's side showed their steely determination for a second successive game as they struck late to beat Wales in an extremely tight-fought battle in Vienna.

Stu Loughrey finished off fellow Leinster man Kyle Good's brilliant cross with just four minutes to go of their semi-final for the game's only goal - coming off the back of a late goal against Switzerland to earn the last four spot in the first place.

The win guarantees Ireland's place in the A division for 2011 and they now have a shot at outright glory when they face France in the final on Saturday afternoon at 5pm.

Ireland U-18 girls 1 (Gillian Pinder) Lithuania 2
Ireland face a testing final day of the EuroHockey Youth Championships after they again struggled to make the best of their chances against Lithuania.

They dominated play for long periods but could not convert any of their four corners while enjoying the lion's share of possession.

All the goals came in the closing ten minutes with Gillian Pinder latching onto Chloe Watkins ball to give Ireland the lead in the 60th minute. However, Lithuania struck twice in the closing minutes to turn the game on its head and raise the importance of Ireland's battle with Russia - the current table-toppers in the relegation pool.

The bottom two sides in the group face the drop to the Trophy level of competition in 2011.

Results: Ireland 1 Lithuania 2; Russia 1 France 1
Relegation pool standings (points/goal difference): 1. Russia 4pts (+1) 2. Lithuania 3pts (0) 3. Ireland 3pts (0) 4. France 1pt (-1)

* For more pictures from Ireland vs Lithuania, click here


Queso said...

For a team seeded 4th in the tournament, it's a poor performance to be left contesting 6th place and fighting to avoid relegation

Bango said...

Being a bit negative this week mister queso probably without having seen any of the live action. ranking counts for little in these competitions as it is based on reuslts two years previosuly so to expect us to come fourth solely on this 'seed' is a bit simplistic.

Queso said...

Yes, absolutely agree there can be fluctuation from year to year as you have a limited resource pool from which to select.... but I would feel that overall we are an A-Division country at this level and despite annual variations previous performances have borne this out:
2002 - 6th
2003 - 6th
2005 - 4th
2007 - 4th
2009 - hopefully 6th!!!

Apollo said...

Queso Knows his Onions

Apollo says 'Stay in school and use your brain. Be a doctor, be a lawyer, carry a leather briefcase. Forget about sports as a profession. Sports make ya grunt and smell. See, be a thinker, not a stinker.'

Anonymous said...

they actually finished in 5th position, which was the best possible outcome considering the situation. Nice to see they had good support at home... queso you've clearly never played in a european tournament therefore you dont know the pressures and the circumstances. They showed great character and strength to come back and beat russia after such a blow to their expectations. Give them a break they obviously tried their best. Well done to the girls and management.

Anonymous said...

it was karl lynch who crossed for stuart loughreys goal not kyle good

Anonymous said...

Lest Leinster mens get too carried away it was Munster man Karl Lynch's brilliant cross for Stu Loughrey's goal, and well taken too!

Queso said...

To recover to 5th place is certainly a very respectable achievement and maintaining A-division status is obviously the primary goal.... however, like Keano, all too often we Irish are satisfied all too easily by just taking part.... that doesn't show any ambition....

While I am genuinely happy for the girls in finishing 5th, I don't think I should be sarcastically accused of being too critical if my expectations are that they reach the semi's or if I am disappointed that they are playing to avoid relegation....

Credit where credit's due they did come out on top in 5th-8th play-offs, so well done!

In 2011 we'll be seeded 5th... so rest assured I'll be singing their praises when we make the semi's :-)

Anonymous said...

"all too often we Irish are satisfied all too easily by just taking part.... that doesn't show any ambition" now you're suggesting that the irish girls went into the competition without any desire to win. I actually know that they went in with extremely high expectations. They have trained and worked hard for a whole year and were bitterly disappointed with how things went, they didnt go in not wanting to win. Things just didnt go their way, I think its very offensive of you to start accusing them of not being determined or putting up a fight. They were the most disappointed out of everyone so give them a break.

Anonymous said...

well done to irish 18s.... hopefully they can put up a good performance in the A division in 2011!!!