Wales edge out Ireland in U18 friendly
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U-18 1-2 WALES U-18
A late Wales goal inflicted defeat upon the Republic of Ireland Under-18 home-based side tonight at Ferrycarrig Park in Wexford.
Cathal McDaid had given the Irish an interval lead but the Welsh levelled on 70 minutes before claiming a last-gasp winner.
Of more importance than the result for the Irish though on the night was the display. On that front, it was a very positive evening.
The friendly game was arranged to enable Republic of Ireland Under-19 and Under-18 Head Coach Paul Doolin assess the domestically-based talent at his disposal.
It was very much Ireland in the ascendancy from the off, with McDaid and Michael Duffy given licence to raid from the wings within the 4-3-3 formation.
On 11 minutes, hesitancy in the visitors defence almost allowed Conor Harkin to take advantage of a loose ball but goalkeeper John Dowd advanced smartly to smother the instinctive shot.
McDaid continued to look lively and got his reward seven minutes later with the opening goal.
A crossfield pass from the right was controlled by the Finn Harps teen who steadied himself before drifting inside and finding the bottom corner with a low drive.
There might have been a second Ireland goal on the half hour yet striker Jason Lyons couldn't keep his header down after Alan Browne's cross fed the Galway youngsters in space.
Ireland goalkeeper Niall Corbett was tested by a ferocious 30 yard shot from Curtis on 38 minutes which the UCD stopper batted away.
Wales showed more attacking impetus in the second half and gradually gained a measure of the Irish with a couple of counter-attacks.
They got back on terms on 70 minutes when substitute James Stead seized upon a loose ball at the back post and rattled the net with a belter of a shot into the far corner.
With both sides having made a series of substitutions, it looked as if the contest would peter out into a draw but there would be a late intervention as Alex Samuel rose high in the box to power a header home for the decisive goal.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: N. Corbett (UCD); A. Browne (Ringmahon Rangers), P. Sweeney (Bray Wanderers), D. Corcoran (Carrigaline United), J. McGlynn (St. Patricks Athletic); R. Slater (UCD), G. Brady (Dundalk), C. Harkin (Derry City); M. Duffy (Derry City), J. Lyons (Salthill Devon), C. McDaid (Finn Harps).
Substitutions: Conor Byrne (Mervue United) for Harkin (57 mins), A. McAlvery (Rockmount) for Lyons, C. Shaughnessy (Mervue United) for Corcoran (both 61 mins), C. O'Malley (Mervue United) for Corbett (69 mins), P. Gannon (Bohemians) for McGlynn, R. Curran (Finn Harps) for Browne (both 75 mins), C. O'Driscoll (Avondale United) for McDaid (77 mins).
WALES: Dowd; Gruffydd, Gibbons, Tinsley, Cockins; Curtis, Green, Kemp, Hutson; Davies Jamie McDaid.
Subs used: Hughes, Joseph, Davies, Beck, Stead, Samuel, Morgan.
REFEREE: Graham Kelly (Cork).