Nine-goal rout proves all in vain for Irish women
Ireland 9 - Montenegro 0
Ireland's women rampaged to a record-equalling win last night but their Euro fate was sealed before the carnage even began at Tallaght Stadium.
Finland's scoreless draw against Portugal ensured they can't be caught for second spot in the group by Ireland, who will rue two disappointing defeats against their rivals.
Ireland conclude their campaign in September by hosting a Portugal side that could still leapfrog them into third spot.
This shooting practice against the minnows of the pool did little to alleviate the concern that Ireland are failing to keep pace with their European peers.
Ranked 33rd in the world, that's lower than they were in 2006 despite the significant investment and underage success during the decade since.
Stephanie Roche and Aine O'Gorman collected a hat-trick apiece in this cakewalk, and another goal was supplied by Louise Quinn.
Megan Connolly had opened the scoring after just three minutes and Fiona O'Sullivan completed the rout.
IRELAND - E Byrne (Arsenal); S Perry (Brighton, L Quinn (Eskilstuna Utd), S McCarthy (Glasgow City), M De Burca (Galway); K Duggan (UCD Waves), A O'Gorman (UCD Waves); JA Russell (UCD Waves); M Connolly (Florida State), S Roche (Sunderland); R Littlejohn (Glasgow City).
Subs: K McCabe (Arsenal) for Connolly (46), D O'Sullivan (Houston Dash) for Duggan (63), F O'Sullivan (California Storm) for O'Gorman (77).