Ireland brush Ukraine aside to stay on course for Paris qualification

Seven Irish players on the scoresheet in emphatic 8-0 Olympic qualifier win

If Ireland struggled to cause problems for Belgium’s defence on Saturday, they caused no end of them for Ukraine in Valencia on Monday afternoon, a thumping 8-0 win keeping the team on course for a top two finish in their pool and a place in the semi-finals of their Olympic qualifying tournament.

The result sends them in to Tuesday evening’s final pool game against Korea knowing that a win would secure that semi-final place - a draw could well suffice depending on the outcome of Korea’s meeting with Belgium later today.

Seven Irish players got their names on the scoresheet against the tournament’s lowest ranked side, Sarah Torrans getting the first on 19 minutes. Thereafter Niamh Carey, Hannah McLoughlin, Deirdre Duke, Roisin Upton, Beth Harper, Torrans again and captain Katie Mullan piled on the goals, Mullan making good use of her camogie skills to score the pick of the bunch five minutes from time.

Ahead of that Belgium v Korea game, then, Ireland are top of the pool, having held the Belgians, the tournament’s top seeds, to a scoreless draw in their opening game.

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And Belgium are the Irish men’s team’s opponent this evening in their second pool game having opened their campaign with a 5-1 win over Ukraine on Sunday.

Ireland: E Murphy, S McAuley, R Upton, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, H McLoughlin, N Carroll, C Beggs, K McKee, D Duke, B Harper. Subs: M Carey, N Carey, S Torrans, E Neill, E Curran, C Watkins.

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