Home-based U17 squad beat Shelbourne
Republic of Ireland U17 4 Shelbourne 0
THE Republic of Ireland Under-17 home-based squad produced an emphatic display to beat Shelbourne U19s 4-0 in an intriguing friendly at Hartstown Huntstown FC tonight.
Tom Mohan's side produced some excellent football to run out comfortable winners in the end but had to weather an early storm from Shels.
Cork City striker Conor Ellis gave Mohan plenty of food for thought as the UEFA U17 Championships qualifying tournament draws close with an impressive first have double.
A stunning second half free-kick from Malike Benrougguibi and a fine finish from substitute Aaron O'Neill wrapped up the scoring for Mohan's side.
Shelbourne had started impressively with Matthew Collins testing goalkeeper Evan Gaffney with a powerful long-distance strike in the third minute.
Aaron Ashe looked dangerous up-front for Shels and he was denied by Gaffney after he intercepted a pass out of the Irish defence in the seventh minute.
Gaffney denied Ashe once again in the 12th minute after the striker connected with a partially cleared corner and then the Irish keeper showed his bravery to save at Ashe's feet in the 18th minute.
Arguably against the run of play Mohan's side broke the deadlock in the 26th minute but there was no argument about the quality of the finish by Ellis after Shels failed to clear a Sean Byrne corner.
Byrne turned provider again in the 32nd minute when he fired over a cross from the left that caught the Shels defence flat-footed and Ellis showed his awareness to slot home the loose ball.
Ahu Obajkhan looked lively for Shels and he rattled the Irish crossbar with an excellent strike from outside the box in the 37th minute.
Talented Shamrock Rovers playmaker Thomas Tiernan produced an excellent strike from distance in the 41st minute but Shels keeper Aaron Mulvey got down well to save.
After the break the elements were in Mohan's side's favour and they went 3-0 up in the 49th minute when Benrougguibi curled home superbly with a sweet free-kick from 30 yards out.
The fourth goal came in 66th minute when O'Neill slotted home from close range after Mulvey could only parry a Conor Masterson strike. Masterson started the game at centre-back but ended up at centre-forward.
Shelbourne struck the base of an Irish upright in the 67th minute but that was the closest they came to pulling one back.
The Irish line-up included Anderlecht defender Robin Walsh, who is the Belgian-born son of an Irishman.
For host club Hartstown Huntstown FC the night went extremely well and everything went extremely smoothly on the evening.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND XI: Evan Gaffney (St Patrick's Athletic), Robin Walsh (Anderlecht), Evan Osam (Shamrock Rovers), Conor Masterson (Lucan Utd), Stephen Best (Crumlin Utd), Antaine O'Laoi (Salthill Devon), Malike Benrougguibi (St Kevin's Boys), Georgie Poynton (Dundalk), Conor Ellis (Cork City), Thomas Tiernan (Shamrock Rovers), Sean Byrne (UCD). Subs: Lee Doyle (Cherry Orchard) for Gaffney 46 mins; Maxime Kouogum (Cherry Orchard) for Byrne 46; Nathan Benson (Crumlin Utd) for Osam 46; Robbie McCourt (St Kevin's Boys) for Best 46; Aaron O'Neill (Athlone Town) for Ellis 46; Richie Purdy (Shamrock Rovers) for O'Laoi 46; Darragh Markey (Cherry Orchard) for Tiernan 46. Re-introduced: Tiernan for Poynton 69; Byrne for Benrougguibi 69; Osam for Walsh 80; Ellis for Masterson 85.
Robin Walsh with Head Coach Tom Mohan