A Craig Duggan goal in the first half helped Ireland to a 1-0 win over Wales in the Pembrokeshire Cup.
Vinny Butler's Under 16 squad won the Pembrokeshire Cup in the immaculate Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff yesterday.
Wales who had held the trophy since their 2-1 win in Dublin in 2002 and retained the trophy in 2004 following a 1-1 draw in Abercare and a 2-2 draw in Dublin last year.
With a squad earning their first official International Caps Vincent Butler was determined to regain the trophy. Prior to departure the squad was hit with injuries to Captain David Joyce and centre half Simon Dunne.
Late replacements Daniel Langan (Belvedere) and David Moher (Shelbourne) were delighted with the opportunity afforded them in the circumstances.
Ireland opened brightly and in the first minute despite playing against a slight breeze Craig Duggan showed his pace as he raced away from the Welsh defence only to be denied by the quick thinking Christopher Maxwell in the Welsh goal. However Wales had been warned – a warning that they did not heed and was to haunt them later.
Wales did not sit back and with Johnathan Bronn in the centre of the park playing well for Wales Ireland rode their luck when Adrian Moyles headed off the line with keeper Kieron Thorpe beaten.
Ireland began toget the upper hand and should have taken the lead when Dean Marshall's trickery got him to the backline only for his pull back to get stuck under Conor Mc Cormack's feet allowing Daniel Knight the opportunity to get back and clear the danger.
The Irish goal was not long in coming and in the 21st minute Craig Duggan struck. Wales had been awarded a free kick 40 yards from the Irish goal and when the free kick was deflected from the wall to the waiting Craig Duggan who raced away from the Welsh defence and coolly rounded the goalkeeper to slot into an empty net.
Ireland continued topress forward but were unable to increase their lead leaving them going in a ta half time one goal in front.
The second half saw Wales come out in a more determined mood. Ireland were fortunate when after 5 minutes they were penalised as Kieron Thorpe was penalised after “picking up” a back pass. Wales however did not take advantage and the free kick was wasted.
Shortly afterwards Conor McCormack went off injured to be replaced by Conor Kavanagh.
Ireland continued to defend well with the back four of Mark Nolan, Niall Mc Ardle , Paul Honahan and Adrian Moyles affording Kieron Thorpe an easy afternoon.
Ireland brought on further substitutes with every one of the squad getting a run out. The substitutions although forced on Vincent – Adrian Moyles was also injured -seemed to upset the rhythm of the team but the team held out for their first win at international level.
Conor Mc Cormack was a happy Captain as he was presented with the Pembrokeshire Cup for the start of his international career.
Vincent Butler's next outing is a two game trip to Switzerland at the end of the month followed by a four nation's tournament in France at the end of October.