Ireland land Paredes gold to earn first ever promotion to top men’s indoor division

Ireland will play in their first official men’s EuroHockey Championship next time around as Ross Canning’s pair of penalty corner goals in the last three minutes in Paredes carried them to Championship II-A gold.

They helped earn a 3-1 win over Denmark whom they had lost to earlier in the competition, handing the Irish side a dream spot just four years since contesting their first EuroHockey indoor event.

In Santander in 2020 and Atheniou in 2022, they finished third both times in Championship III but they made the big leap this year.

They made it through the group stages with a goal difference of +20 from their four games, confirming their place in the final with a 9-1 win over Cyprus with Ross Canning scoring a hat trick.

Lithuania, meanwhile, started the day with an outstanding 5-4 win over previously unbeaten Denmark to guarantee their place in the third place playoff. Arnas Ridlauskas was their star man with a trio of goals which put them well clear before a few late goals from Denmark closed the gap.

In that third place playoff, Lithuania secured their best ever European indoor finish – their only previous result being a fourth place in Challenge I in 2006 – with a 5-1 victory against Cyprus.

So to the final where Ireland took a very early lead against Denmark in the fifth minute via Greg Williams and it stayed that way throughout a tense second and third quarter.

Tobias Grand eventually equalised with five minutes left but Denmark’s joy was short-lived with Canning scoring twice in quick succession to spark the green celebrations, taking the one promotion ticket on offer.

EuroHockey Championship II-A Men (Paredes), final positions:

  1. Ireland
  2. Denmark
  3. Lithuania
  4. Cyprus
  5. Norway

Player of the tournament: Jesper Jonasson (Denmark)

Goalkeeper of the tournament: Stephen O’Keeffe (Ireland)

Top scorer: Ross Canning (Ireland) – 13 goals

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