Men’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers
Ireland 19 (L Madeley 4. J Duncan 3, J McKee 3, B Walker 3, M Robson 3, S Murray, D Walsh, L Witherow) Lithuania 0
Ireland’s men recorded their largest ever win as they swept aside Lithuania on day one of the EuroHockey Championship qualifiers in Calais.
Four goals from Luke Madeley along with hat tricks for Michael Robson, Jeremy Duncan, Jonny McKee and Ben Walker helped outdo the previous best of 13-0 against Malta in 2002 and Fiji in 2013.
They took the lead with barely 15 seconds on the clock with Madeley scoring from their first penalty corner chance.
Three further goals followed in a 39-second spell before the end of the first quarter for a 4-0 advantage. Duncan flicked home to start that run; skipper Sean Murray cracked home first time from a McKee assist and then McKee finished off a gorgeous interchange.
The second quarter proved harder to break through with just a Walker reverse-stick effort adding to the tally – 5-0 at half-time.
The record came into view in the third quarter with seven arriving in that 15-minute stanza as Lithuania were reduced to the role of spectators as they barely laid a stick on Ireland. Walker got his second while Duncan polished off a hat trick with a pair of goals within 45 seconds of each other.
Madeley’s second corner goal, a solo peach from Daragh Walsh and set piece efforts from Robson and McKee made it 12-0 with a full quarter remaining.
Madeley duly equalled the record with his third of the game and put Ireland over the total with eight minutes to go. Two more from Robson, one more each for McKee and Walker and a first international goal for Luke Witherow completed the 19.
It gave Ireland a winning start to the four-team competition from which the top side will qualify for next summer’s European Championships.
“I don’t think that scoreline is good for the game but we have to take into consideration in this tournament, there could be a lot of value on goal difference on Saturday morning,” Tumilty said afterwards.
“I am pleased we were clinical, executed some corners but apart from that, there is probably not a lot of value in it.”
Next up will be a completely different contest against the highest ranked side, France (11th in the world), with the winner likely to take control of the group.
“It is the one we spoke about since we came together in May and it is time for this group to produce a performance,” Tumilty said of that showdown.
“We have prepped well and the team know what is expected of them. We know there is a performance in there; corners will be a key area but we definitely have a good chance.”
Ireland: J Carr, L Madeley, J McKee, D Walsh, C Robson, K Marshall, S Murray, M McNellis, J Duncan, S Hyland, N Page
Subs: L Witherow, K O’Dea, N Glassey, M Robson, B Walker, J Lynch, M Ingram
Lithuania: N Andrasiunas, A Cesnulis, P Lakstauskas, A Burkot, M Pocevicius, R Stankevic, A Ridlauskas, A Jackevicius, J Bandziulis, E Ustinovicius
Subs: M Grubliauskas, P Sinkevicius, T Pabjianskas, I Balbatunovas