Ireland’s men made a huge statement as they began their Olympic qualification campaign with an 8-0 rout of Chile at the World League 2 in San Diego.
Craig Fulton’s side, hoping to erase the pain of just missing out in 2012, had the game wrapped up after 15 minutes thanks to goals from Mitch Darling, Conor Harte, Alan Sothern and Bruce McCandless.
The scoring slowed thereafter but a Mikey Watt brace, another from Darling and one from Stephen Dowds finished the job.
Domestically, Pegasus will face UCD while Hermes lock horns with Loreto in the last four of the women’s Irish Hockey League after the pool stages were completed on Saturday.
Pegs ousted Hermes for top spot in Pool A on goal difference after a 6-0 win over already-eliminated UCC, while Hermes beat Lurgan 3-0 with in-form Sinead Loughran scoring twice.
UCD’s impressive 4-2 success away to Irish Senior Cup finalists Ulster Elks wasn’t enough to prevent Loreto from leading the way in Pool B after they held off Ards 3-1. Cork Harlequins finished their campaign on a high, routing Greenfields 7-0 in Galway. Cliodhna Sargent fired a hat-trick and Karen Bateman made it five goals in two days after also hitting a treble in a 4-0 midweek Munster league win over Cork C of I.
UCC made their passage into next season’s Irish Hockey League all but safe as they beat Catholic Institute 4-2 to stay top of the table, leaving the Limerick girls needing a miracle to oust either College or Quins for a berth in the fledgling “full” version of the competition.
Clonakilty had an extremely productive weekend, Trish Moloney getting a touch to Jane Chapple’s shot in the last minute of extra-time to put them into Division 1B Cup final — it was the only goal of the game against a game Waterford outfit. Melvin Beamish’s side then doubled up with a counter-attacking Division 1 Challenge success against Fermoy, who held most of the ball but couldn’t match Freda Buttimer’s pair of incisive interventions (2-0).
Belvedere also had an important win, seeing off Clonmel by the same scoreline, with Cashel/New Inn winning 1-0 at Tipperary. UL’s resurgence in Division 1B continued as they made it three wins from three, Nicola Deegan’s brace getting them past Dungarvan 2-0.
Bruff and Dungarvan played out a scoreless draw while Cork Wanderers had a 3-1 win over Cobh with goals from Joan Dobson, Susan McCourt and Cathy Walsh.
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