Ireland bounce back against Ukraine to land European title

by Aaron Dunne
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Ireland – 5

Ukraine – 2

Ireland won the Euro Hockey Championship II title on Saturday despite trailing at half -time.

Leadership takes many forms. Sometimes the leader inspires the others to do great things, other times they lead by example.

Captain Sean Murray took the latter path. Finding his side trailing at half time he scored twice in the fourth quarter, once to equalize and the second to put Ireland in the lead.

Further goals from Benjamin Walker and a Lee Cole penalty stroke sealed a 5-2 victory.

But as in the semi-final win over Scotland, Ireland were better in the second half, in this game against Ukraine too.

 Ireland took the lead through a penalty corner converted by Shane O’Donoghue in the 7th minute, but as the quarter wore on the opposition came more into the game.

Ukraine got an equaliser on 9 minutes from Viacheslav Paziuk’s converted penalty corner to make it 1-1.

Oleksandr Boiko gave Ukraine the lead with his converted penalty corner on 12 minutes and it was a lead they held on to right to the end of not only quarter one, but right up to half-time.

The third quarter saw Ireland looking more on the front foot and coming back into the game.

Sean Murray scored a field goal in the 50th minute to make it 2-2. He got his second of the match in the 51st minute to put Ireland 3-2 ahead. Ireland went further ahead in the 53rd minute through a Benjamin Walker field goal 4-2 ahead. And finally in the 56th minute Lee Cole converted a late penalty stroke to secure a 5-2 win.

In doing so Lee Cole scored his 9th goal of the tournament to secure the tournament top scorer award.

David Harte was voted goalkeeper of the tournament by the coaches and manager of the participating teams. Ireland’s captain

Sean Murray was voted player of the tournament and todays player of the match tournament would have gone a long way to helping him in that win. Final score Ireland 5 Czech Republic 2

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