Ireland's men hammer Ukraine 9-2 in World League 2 opener at Stormont

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Ireland men's hockey team open their World League 2 campaign at Stormont with 9-2 victory over Ukraine

Ireland have made a winning start to the World League 2 competition in Belfast after a 9-2 win over Ukraine.

Craig Fulton's side have taken control of Pool A after two goals from Johnny McKee helped them to all three points.

Ireland are the highest ranked team in the tournament and a top-three finish would be enough to qualify for the World League semi-finals in the summer.

The hosts face Austria tomorrow before finishing their pool campaign against Italy on Tuesday.

Jeremy Duncan, Shane O'Donoghue, Lee Cole, Matthew Nelson, Conor Harte, Matthew Bell and Ben Walker were the other Irish goal scorers at Stormont.

After Duncan gave the home side an early lead, Ukraine drew level with a penalty corner by Andrii Koshelenko but Ireland dominated the rest of the game and led 5-1 at half-time.

Nelson scored the only goal of the third quarter before Harte, Bell and Walker all netted in final quarter and Ukraine scored a late consolation when Sergii Diachuk converted a penalty stroke.

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