Ireland U19: Wales win Friendly in Longford
The home side began much the stronger with a free-kick from Troy Parrott rattling the crossbar in the opening ten minutes.
Wales took the lead against the run of play in the 18th-minute. A quick counter-attack saw Spence played in behind the Irish defence and he calmly chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper Brian Maher.
Despite conceding, Ireland continued to dominate possession, with a Nathan Collins header hitting the crossbar in the latter stages of the first-half.
Tom Mohan's side trailed 1-0 at the break, despite enjoying the majority of the chances in the opening period.
Ireland started the second-half very much like the first pilling pressure on the Welsh back line. Shots from Adam Idah and Glen McAuley tested the Welsh defence, but were unable to score the decisive equaliser.
Ryan Johansson made his international debut for Ireland on the hour mark, replacing Will Smallbone. The Bayern Munich player had a chance to equalise with 15-minutes to go, but his shot went narrowly wide.
Tom Mohan's side play Wales once more on Tuesday afternoon at 12pm in Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway.
Republic of Ireland: Brian Maher; Lee O'Connor (capt), Jack James, Nathan Collins, Will Ferry; Glen McAuley (Michael Gallagher 72), Conor Coventry, Aaron Bolger, Troy Parrott; Will Smallbone (Ryan Johannson 62), Adam Idah.