Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland
THE Republic of Ireland Women’s U16 team beat their counter-parts 1-0 in a friendly game against neighbours Northern Ireland at Oriel Park tonight.
Sharon Boyle’s side claimed the spoils thanks to a first half goal from Niamh Sheehan and her side will have received a real confidence boost from this victory ahead of next month’s quadrangular tournament in Dublin.
The home side had the game’s first chance in the tenth minute. Heather Payne did well to make room on the left before getting her cross into the box. The Northern Ireland defence cleared to safety.
Three minutes later it was Payne again on the left hand side who crossed the ball to centre forward Sheehan, who had a great chance but was scrambled clear.
The home side broke through again in the 15th minute when Leanne Kiernan found herself racing in on goal with only the keeper to beat but Northern Ireland keeper Caiomhe Callaghan was brave to rush out and clear the danger.
Sheehan broke the deadlock in the 20th minute after fabulous play on the left hand side again from Payne. Payne provided the perfect cross for Sheehan to blast home from close range.
The first real chance for Northern Ireland came on the stroke of half an hour played. Emma McMaster tried her luck from distance but the right footed shot sailed wide of the post.
Two minutes later Sheehan this time turned her hand to assisting as she done well to make space and get her cross to the back post for Leah Reybet-Degat to get her head to but Callaghan was equal to it.
Three minutes into the second half the home side came close again when Alex Kavanagh played a perfectly weighted through ball for Sheehan to latch on to but Callaghan again rushed out to save.
Home captain Leanne Kiernan was denied in the 51st minute after he turned Stacey Bryce right and then left before steadying herself for a low shot that the keeper was equal to.
Two minutes later Kiernan again was in the thick of it as she played a cross field ball for Payne to control. Payne flicked the ball up with her left foot and was unlucky not to keep her volley on target.
In the 59th minute Aoife McColgan played a perfect through pass for Nicole Plunkett, seconds after coming on as a substitute, but the Northern Ireland defence once again cleared any danger.
Three minutes from time Northern Ireland substitute goalkeeper Anna Daly made a really impressive fingertip save as she put the ball behind for what looked like a certain header from Plunkett.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: McAloon (McColgan 40, Lenihan 62), Reddy (Burke 62), Green (McLaughlin 48), Ruddy, Finnegan (Mannix 62), Kavanagh (O’Gorman 62), Kiernan (Brogan 58), Reybet-Degat (Plunkett 48), Sheehan (Kelly 58), Baynes (Connolly 48), Payne (Walsh 58)
NORTHERN IRELAND: Callaghan (Daly 71), Rix, Brooke, Martin (Doake 60), Orr, Robson (Smyth 60), Bassett, Mc Master, Bryce (Gillis 77), Beattie.
Tuesday, January 13
Women's U16 International Friendly
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland, Oriel Park Dundalk