Italy took the gold medals at the EuroHockey Indoor Championship III 2022 (M) in Athienou, Cyprus, with Denmark runners up and Ireland in third place.
Italy sealed the top spot with a 6-1 win over Ireland. Italy were outstanding, winning all six of their matches and finishing with a goal difference of +53.
The Irish side did have a chance to overhaul the Italians if they could summon a win but they fell 2-0 behind in the first quarter to goals from Simone Pagliara.
Ireland fought back with John Jackson halving the deficit in the 24th minute but the game put to bed when Marcello Succi and Francois Sior stretched the lead to 4-1.
Then, after a long injury break, Italy finished strong with two more goals Alessandro Muzzioli for a healthy lead.
Denmark were also excellent, losing only once and fully deserving of second overall and they finished the tournament with a 7-1. Captain Jesper Jonasson scored another two goals to bring his tournament total to 16, making him the highest scorer of the tournament.
Ireland were competitive throughout and pushed the top two until the very end and took the bronze medal.
Host nation Cyprus, in only their second international indoor appearance, were lifted by then support of the home crowd and will be pleased with their fourth place finish.
Serbia and Greece both deserve credit for the effort and spirit they displayed and will surely be looking forward to the future. The Serbs finished on a high, two goals from Viktor Gabrić and one at the end from Adam Losonci.
At the prize-giving ceremony, in the presence of local dignitaries, the top three teams were honoured and individual awards were given to Italy’s Marco Moretto (voted Best Player), Ireland’s Stephen O’Keefee (Best Goalkeeper), Denmark’s Jonasson (Top Scorer with 16 goals).
It was a fantastic event and a big thanks must go to the judges, umpires and above all, the volunteers.
Men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship III final ranking: