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Madeley's maiden strike for Ireland proves special for the entire family

 

First goal: Luke Madeley is settling in well with the Irish
First goal: Luke Madeley is settling in well with the Irish

By Graham Hamilton

European Hockey Federation communications manager Siobhan Madeley must always show neutrality in her key role - but she's the first to admit emotion took over when Ireland crushed Singapore to reach Saturday's FIH Series semi-finals in France.

It wasn't just that the Irish had ramped up an 11-0 success to overtake Scotland and Egypt in the pool phase at Le Touquet, but it was the moment that the Green Machine's eighth goal went flying past the Singapore keeper - the moment that her son, the youngest of the 18-strong squad, chalked up his first international goal.

Luke Madeley, who is following in the footsteps of father Robin, who wore the Banbridge shirt with pride and went on to become an international regular, was playing only his 18th game in the green shirt when his opportunity came at a penalty corner, and he calmly converted.

"In my role it is tricky to be openly supportive of the Irish teams, although it is much easier when they aren't playing European teams," admitted Siobhan.

"When I saw him at one of the castles for an Irish penalty corner, I was hoping he would get a chance to strike.

"And he did - and I admit I did a fist pump at the laptop screen when the ball hit the net.

"His call-up for a world ranking event was bittersweet as his grandfather passed away recently and he'd been so supportive."

The Irish players spent yesterday recovering and it's on to video analysis of Korea and Egypt, as it is one of these that they will face on Saturday.

TODAY: Quarter-finals: Scotland v Chile (2.30pm), Korea v Egypt (5pm)

TOMORROW: Seventh/eighth play-off: Singapore v Ukraine (2.30pm); Fifth/sixth play-off: Scotland or Chile v Korea or Egypt (5pm)

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