24.10.2006 at 19:30 Home Farm Ground, Whitehall
Ireland Under 16
1 - 2
Paul Murphy (49)
Conor Mc Laughlin 20 mins,
Daniel Kearns 68 mins
Calum O Shea
The Republic of Ireland Under 16 “A” side were defeated 2-1 by Northern Ireland “A” in a hard fought affair in Whitehall this evening.
Aaron Doran had the first chance of the game after eight minutes when John Dunleavy played a wide ball to Doran on the right wing. The Blackburn Rovers man dribbled through the Northern Ireland defence and but his final shot was hit just narrowly wide.
Republic of Ireland captain, Conor Clifford was unlucky not to break the deadlock after 13 minutes, Clifford’s 25 yard strike went narrowly over the bar following some patient Irish build up on the edge of the box.
Northern Ireland were in the lead after only 20 minutes when a free kick on the right wing was swung into the unmarked Conor McLaughlin whose powerful header beat Harry Lee in the Irish goal.
Vincent Butler’s side had the opportunity to equalise just before half-time; Niall Byrne’s cross from the right wing caused hesitancy in the Northern Ireland box and Aaron Doran’s snap-shot went narrowly wide of the right hand post.
The Republic of Ireland got off to a flying start after the break with a superb finish from Ipswich Town’s Paul Murphy after 49 minutes. Aaron Doran punished the Northern defence for their slack defending from a corner to set-up Murphy who gave the keeper no chance with a shot low and hard to the keepers left.
Ten minutes later, Conor Clifford almost grabbed the lead for the Republic. Mark Power's long throw-in eluded the Northern Ireland defence and Clifford controlled the high-ball neatly but his shot was just wide of the post.
Northern Ireland scored the decisive goal on 68 minutes when high cross drifted in from the right wing found its way to substitute Daniel Kearns, whose half-volley from 10 yards out hit the top-left hand corner of the net, giving Harry Lee no chance in the Republics’ goal.
The Republic of Ireland pressed forward in search of an equaliser late on but the Northern Ireland defence stood firm for a dramatic victory in Whitehall.
The two sides will meet again tomorrow as the Republic of Ireland “B” side will be looking to overturn tonight’s defeat against Northern Ireland “B” at 12.30 pm at Home Farm FC, Whitehall.
Republic of Ireland
Harry Lee (Charlton Athletic)
Niall Byrne (Home Farm)
Mark Power (Aston Villa)
Mark Connolly (Monaghan United)
John Dunleavy (Ballybofey United)
Conor Clifford (C) (Crumlin United)
Callum O’Shea (Charlton Athletic)
Gearoid Morrissey (Ringmahon Rangers)
Joe Mason (Plymouth Argyle)
Paul Murphy (Ipswich Town)
Aaron Doran ((Blackburn Rovers)
Danny Joyce (Belvedere) on for Power, 73 Mins
Robert Brady (St. Kevins) on for O’Shea, 49 Mins
Conor Hourihane (Douglas Hall)
Shane Howard (Crumlin United) on for Byrne, 80 Mins
Gavin Carlin (Curragh Athletic) on for Lee, 73 Mins
Ronan Murray (Erris United) on for Mason, 62 Mins