FFA: Schools side compete in Welsh Tri-Nations Tournament
In the first game of the competition, Ireland met Wales in front of a large crowd at the Welsh FA Headquarters at Dragon Park in Newport.
Although dominating possession for much of the game and creating chances through pacy wingers Josh Bevan and Brian Tshiluamba, it was Wales who scored through a 25-yard free kick into the top-corner giving goalkeeper Gary Delaney no chance, in the final minutes. A powerful run into the box and shot by Lee Kearney hit the post in the closing seconds nearly secured Ireland a well deserved point but unfortunately the game finished 1-0 to Wales. Ireland defender Luke McGinn was awarded Man of the Match for an outstanding display.
Ireland’s second game against Northern Ireland was played at a tremendous pace and was fiercely competitive. After a shaky start Ireland grew in confidence and striker Gary Delaney nearly gave Ireland the lead when he beat two players down the left wing and drove a powerful shot towards goal. A defensive error by Ireland in the 80th-minute led to the only goal of the game and despite Northern Ireland getting a man sent off they survived the final minutes to secure the three points.
In his final game of a five-year Football For All Schools career Glenn Ward was outstanding at centre-back, winning countless tackles and headers against a powerful Northern Ireland front line, was awarded Man of the Match. Robert Barrett, Ultan McKenna and Colm McGuinness also deserve notable mentions as they move on from the U-19 squad next year after many superb performances for their country in recent years.
In the final game of the tournament Northern Ireland beat Wales 4-0 to secure the Tri-Nations Trophy.
Republic of Ireland Squad: Gary Delaney, Ultan McKenna, Luke Mcginn, Orin Mitchell, Glenn Ward, Eoghan Donaghy, Josh Bevan, Cameron McGrath, Brian Tshiluamba, Sam Buick, Robert Barrett, Jack Curran, Finn Young, Luke Walsh, Colm Kinsella, Lee Kearney