Juniors held by Northern Ireland

The Republic of Ireland played out a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland in Banbridge on Thursday, with Ballina Towns Michael Duffy giving them the lead on 11 minutes when he slotted home from close range after Niall Andrew pressured the Northern Ireland goalkeeper in making a mistake.

The Republic of Ireland started with six changes from yesterdays game with Adrian Walsh starting in goal, Ross Carrig and Stephen O' Mahoney in defence, Eoin Hanrahan in midfield and Michael Duffy and Niall Andrews upfront.

There were few chances in the first half with the Republic on top for long periods, in the second half Northern Ireland got their passing game going and they equalised on in the 70th minute when from a free kick from Northern Irelands Timmy Grant got deflected.

Both sides had chances in the closing stages to win the game but on balance a draw was a fair result. With the Isle of Man and Scotland playing out a 2-2 draw today the Rep. of Ireland go in to Saturdays game against Scotland needing a win as Scotland have a plus one goals for.

With Sheamie Crowe definitely out and David Lacey nursing a hamstring pull it will require Gerry Smith to use all his motivational skills to win the tournament off the holders Scotland at 2-30 in Banbridge this Saturday.

Team: A. Walsh, S. O' Mahoney, J. Walsh, R. Carrig, B. Buckley, W. Fitzgerald, T. Scully, G. Mc Carthy, E. Hanrahan, M. Duffy, N. Andrews. Subs: R. Cosgrave for G. Mc Carthy (75), K. Hartnett for T. Scully (78), D. Lacey for N. Andrews (60), M. Coady for E. Hanrahan (55

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