Ireland rout Ukraine to make it two from two as hockey fever spreads

The boys in green followed up their opening day victory over Russia with a 12-0 rout of Ukraine on the second day of the Electric Ireland FIH Road to London tournament at Belfield moving a step closer to qualifying for this year’s Olympics on their home soil.

The leading two countries from the six participants will play off for a place in the London Olympics at the weekend and the home side gave their chances of reaching the decider a huge boost in a completely one sided encounter.

Ireland led 5-0 at halftime and man of the match Timmy Cockram completed a hat trick as Ireland hit seven without reply in the second half.

The hosts next face tournament favourites Korea, ranked six in the world, in a vital clash this evening (Tuesday), in what is expected to be a sell out tie at the Dublin venue.

Ireland’s 12-0 win over Ukraine is the second biggest winning margin in their history, since their win against Malta (13-0) in 2002.

Ireland opened their scoring in the 15th minute when Paul Gleghorne drilled in a great ball and Timmy Cockram put in a classy deflection securing his first of three. Six minutes later Eugene Magee displayed his quick reactions when Conor Harte’s initial drag was saved and he pounced on the rebound volleying it at pace into the back of the net for 2-0.

Six minutes later Magee was on hand to convert an excellent set piece, a switched drag flick to make it 3-0 and from here the goals just flowed for Ireland including another two before half time. Timmy Cockram got the fourth with another rebound opportunity and Mitch Darling wrapped it up in the first half with an open play goal.

Ireland continued in much of the same vein over powering Ukraine and hammering in another seven goals as the opportunities were created much to the packed stadiums delight. Mitch was the first scorer of the second half in the 43rd before Peter Caruth got his name on the score sheet in the 49th minute.

The final five goals all came from open play as Ireland showed flare, pace and finesse.

Ireland will be happy to have a good goal difference before they head into meet world number six Korea.