Anthony Stokes scored twice as the Republic of Ireland gained their first victory of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 in some style, defeating Estonia 5-0 in Dublin in their first game under former national women's coach Noel King.
The Hibernian FC striker, making his first appearance of the campaign, struck on 15 and 30 minutes, his second coming from the penalty spot after being fouled by Aleksei Jahhimovitš. Second-half strikes from James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Owen Garvan added further gloss to an impressive display against a team playing the last of their ten matches in the section.
It was third-placed Estonia, however, who created the first chance when Artjom Dmitrijev's long-range strike on four minutes forced Stephen Henderson into a full-stretch save. It was not long before the hosts broke the deadlock, though, Stokes turning in McCarthy's cross with a quarter of an hour gone.
Stokes then cheekily chipped in his second from the spot and turned provider on 62 minutes for McCarthy, who coolly beat Marko Meerits. Coleman's deflected shot made it four three minutes from time, before Garvan easily finished off more excellent approach play from the irrepressible Stokes in added time. Ireland visit leading pair Switzerland and Turkey in September hoping to move off the bottom, having moved within two points of Georgia.