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Ireland U18 boys and girls find the winning formula in Europeans

By Graham Hamilton

The Irish U18 boys and girls gave themselves a great chance of maintaining their top flight status after they chalked up wins in the European series in Cork.

The girls staged a thrilling comeback, scoring three times in the last 19 minutes after Russia had gone up 2-0.

Ulster Elks' Hannah Irwin started the revival and club mate Jessica McMaster levelled before Michelle Barry grabbed the winner right at the death.

The boys thumped Czech Republic 11-1, with Guy Sarratt grabbing a hat-trick, Kyle Marshall scoring twice and others coming from Matthew Nelson, Ben Walker, Harry McMahon, Matthew Crookshanks, Conor Empey and David Jennings.

Meanwhile, the Irish senior men completed their build-up to the Rio Olympics with a narrow defeat against World No.7 Argentina in Buenos Aires.

This was a much improved performance from the 5-2 defeat a few days earlier, with Lisnagarvey's Timmy Cockram scoring. The squad head to Rio tomorrow.

And Ulster Elks midfielder Rebecca Barry will make her senior international debut this weekend when Ireland take on Belgium, Chile and Scotland in a Four Nations tournament in Dublin.

There are six Ulster players in Graham Shaw's squad, including Barry's club mates Shirley McCay and Megan Frazer.

Ireland: Grace O'Flanagan; Ayeisha McFerran; Yvonne O'Byrne; Katie Mullan; Shirley McCay; Megan Frazer; Elena Tice; Naomi Carroll; Gillian Pinder; Anna Whelan; Chloe Watkins; Lizzie Colvin; Hannah Matthews; Anna O'Flanagan; Zoe Wilson; Deirdre Duke; Alison Meeke and Rebecca Barry.

European Championships (Cork): Boys: Ireland 11 Czech Republic 1; Belgium 2 Germany 2. Girls: England 1 Germany 6; Russia 2 Ireland 3

Today: Boys: Ireland v Belgium (5.45pm); Girls: Ireland v Germnay (12pm)

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