Hockey: Ruthless Ireland polish off Poles
Ireland began repaying the faith of the fans who paid for them to be in Argentina as they polished off Poland 4-0 in the quarter-final of the Champions Challenge.
After a scoreless, cheerless first half Ireland broke the deadlock on 45 minutes when Mikey Watt somehow found space in a crowded circle to belt home a magnificent opener.
The Poles continued to melt, conceding a penalty corner four minutes later, converted by Conor Harte after a dummy by Shane O'Donoghue.
The routine was so good that they tried it again on 53 minutes with the identical result, as the Cork man again hit the target.
The Poles found it hard to change gear from glacial defence and as they revised their tactics they shipped a fourth, giving O'Donoghue room to collect, turn, dummy and shoot past the goalkeeper.
The outcome means that Andrew Meredith's side will finish in the top four of the eight-nation event, still in with a chance of medals as the Challenge comes to a climax over the weekend.
Ireland – D Harte, J Jackson, G McCabe, R Gormley, M Watt, J Jermyn, E Magee, T Cockram, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S O'Donoghue. Subs: C Cargo, P Caruth, A McConnell, B McCandless, M Darling, S Loughrey.
A SEVEN-strong Ireland squad has been confirmed for the inaugural European U-23 Championships in Kaliningrad, Russia next month.
Former Irish Elite champion Declan Geraghty will spearhead a team which also includes Jason Quigley, an ex-European Youth champion.
Meanwhile, there was mixed fortunes for the Irish representatives on the opening day of 71-nation AIBA World Youth Championships in Armenia.
Chris Nevin advanced from the preliminaries after stopping Croatia's Brec Mislav in the second round, but Belfast's Thomas Waites lost to Lithuania's Eimantas Stanionis in Yerevan.
Nevin (Holy Family BC, Drogheda) will now meet Lin Sheng-Ling of Chinese Taipei on Sunday for a place in the last-16.
Ed Dunlop's star mare Snow Fairy has had her victory in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville taken away after failing a test for a banned substance.
Connections have explained it was due to anti-inflammatory treatment the five-year-old has been receiving.
Snow Fairy has struggled with injury through her career, winning once more in the Irish Champion Stakes after her comeback in Normandy, but she is currently on the sidelines again.
American Serena Williams has been named WTA Player of the Year after one of the most successful seasons of her career.
The 31-year-old won Wimbledon and the US Open to take her Grand Slam haul in singles to 15, while she also won Olympic gold in singles and doubles in London.