Ireland book place in Euro semi-finals

Ireland's Shirley McCay in action against Ukraine
Ireland's Shirley McCay in action against Ukraine

Goals from Yvonne O’Byrne, Naomi Carroll and Chloe Brown ensured Ireland have booked a semi-final spot in the Eurohockey Championships II with one pool game still in hand.

The 3-0 victory over Ukraine leaves Ireland sitting top of Pool A.

The Ukrainians had the first real chance of the game however it was the Irish who looked the more threatening for the bulk of the first half.

In a scrappy game it was O’Byrne who broke the deadlock as she deflected a penalty corner shot into the roof of the net.

The second half began much like the first with the Ukrainians applying consistent pressure to the Irish defence with no reward. Carroll gave Ireland a bit of breathing space when she fired home in the 48th minute to make it 2-0.

The final action of the match saw Ireland win a penalty corner and Brown stepped up to expertly drag the ball into the top left corner.

Reflecting on the game, coach Graham Shaw said: “We’re happy with a 3-0 score line. We know that it wasn’t the performance that we are looking for but we’re in the semi-finals which is most important.”

Ireland face against Czech Republic tomorrow.