REPORT | MU16 | Ireland beat Northern Ireland on penalties
Mason Melia scored a late equaliser to take the game to penalties after Blain McClure had given the North a 1-0 lead in the first half.
But the hero will be Marcus Gill who saved a hat-trick of penalties to secure the win for Paul Osam’s side in front of crowd of 685 at Gruan Park in Tramore.
Ireland now head into their final game of the tournament against an unbeaten Scotland knowing a win can bring home the Victory Shield.
Osam made 10 changes to the team that beat Wales on Sunday evening with Dundalk’s Luke Mulligan captaining the side.
The opening stages were a tight affair with no side creating any clearcut opportunities. Northern Ireland grew into the contest and it was they who struck the first goal in the 24th minute when McClure was picked out by Cole Brannigan in the area and he slotted it beyond Gill.
It was the visitors who looked the most threatening with Ireland failing to force Will Murdock into a single save.
Osam made three changes at half-time with Niall McAndrews, Matthew Moore and Matthew Murray all introduced.
And it was McAndrews who had Ireland’s first attempt of the game for Ireland when his strike went just past the post after the the ball was half cleared to the edge of the area.
Ireland were pushing for an equaliser and Darragh Marshall found space to get a shot away forcing Murdock into a save in the 43rd minute.
Taylor McCarthy had a glorious chance in the 64th minute when Orazi’s cross was caught in the wind, Murdock spilled it and McCarthy couldn’t convert.
Shortly after, Gill pulled off a fine save from close range to deny Troy Savage when Ireland failed to clear their lines.
But with time running out substitute Melia got on the end of a Fiachra Coffey cross to send Gruan Park wild.
It went to penalties and McClure made no mistake from the spot with Northern Ireland's first kick. But Orazi, Sean Moore and McAndrew all scored for Ireland. Gill’s three saved earned the win for Ireland.
Republic of Ireland: Gill, Coffey, Mulligan (C), McCarthy, Callicoe, O’Donnell (Matthew Moore, 41), Sean Moore, Gorman (McAndrews, 41), Fitzgerald (Orazi, 60), Adebayo (Murray, 41), Marshall (Melia, 60).
Northern Ireland: Murdock, Cowan, Haughey, Moreland, McClure, Brannigan (Savage, 69), Kelly (Corry, 55), Duffy (Doherty, 55), Stitt (Atherton, 77), O’Neill (Harkin, 77), Watson.
Referee: Alan Franklin (Ireland)
2022 Victory Shield Fixtures/Results
Sunday, October 30
- Republic of Ireland MU16 2-2 Wales MU16 (Ireland win 5-4 on penalties)
- Northern Ireland MU16 1-3 Scotland MU16
Tuesday, November 1
- Republic of Ireland MU6 1-1 Northern Ireland MU16 (Ireland win 3-1 on penalties)
- Scotland MU16 3-2 Wales MU16
Friday, November 4
- Republic of Ireland MU16 v Scotland MU16, RSC, Waterford, KO 2pm
Tickets are available at the turnstiles and priced €5 for adults with entry for U16s free
- Wales MU16 v Northern Ireland MU16, Tramore AFC, Tramore, KO 11am