HOCKEY: Ireland book chance at spot in Paris

by Aaron Dunne
0 comment

Ireland 1

Italy 1

Ireland will be in the qualification groups for the 2024 Olympics next January in either China or Spain following a draw with Italy in their final game at the EuroHockey Championships.

Group rivals Spain had played Scotland on Friday and surprisingly lost 2-1.

This meant that if Italy won today’s game with Ireland all four teams in Pool C would have finished on four points.

The goal difference advantage meant that as long as it was a victory of two goals or less Ireland would still win Pool C and secure fifth place in the tournament.

That in turn would achieve the two basic goals for Ireland from these games: One, secure Ireland a spot in the Olympic Qualification groups taking place in January 2024, and two, keep Ireland at the elite level with a place in the EuroHockey Championships in 2025.

Elsewhere, Ireland secured a Championship II bronze medal at the the 2023 EuroHockey ID Championships in Mönchengladbach.

The sport is unusual in that women and men train and play in mixed teams, side by side with and for each other.

For the first time in 2023 it was a requirement that at least two women must be registered per team and that one woman is always active on the pitch.

Ireland began with a game against

England and it ended in a 3-0 defeat.

Next up was a game against Czech Republic which Ireland won 4-0 with goals from Cameron Ward and a hat-trick for Daniel Fortune.

Next up were Spain who beat Ireland 4-0 and Ireland finished their first day action with a game against France which they narrowly lost 2-1 with Cameron Ward on the scoresheet for Ireland.

This meant that Ireland would be in Championship II for the second and final day’s action in the tournament.

Another game with the French which they won 2-1 and Cameron Ward was once again the goal scorer. Ireland bounced back from this set back with a 6-2 win over the Czechs.

Daniel Fortune and Charlie O’Reilly got two goal each with Cameron Ward and captain Matthew Burke grabbing the other goals.

That left two games for Ireland to see out the program. England beat Ireland 4-2 with Cameron Ward and Matthew Burke scoring for Ireland and a final game against Germany which the hosts won 7-1, Cameron Burke on the mark for Ireland.

With the other results going as they did Ireland ended up in a play off for bronze against France.

The winning shuttle was scored by Cameron Ward. Ireland won 1-0 in a very closely contested game against France.

Conditions were hot but it didn’t stop the fighting spirit of the Irish players who battled to the bitter end. Ireland had previously lost 1-2 to France in the group stages but managed to reverse the result today.

Scoring with only a couple of minutes to go Ireland were delighted with their bronze medal. A great team effort.

Related Articles