Republic of Ireland "A" 1 Northern Ireland "A" 2
The Republic of Ireland Under-15 squads concluded their campaign by playing two matches against Northern Ireland at the tri-nations tournament in Belfast on Saturday.
The first game ended in a 1-1 draw while Ireland suffered their only defeat in four games at the event by losing 2-1 in the second fixture.
Republic manager Vincent Butler selected an extended squad of 32 players and divided those into two squads for the double-headers on both days.
Ireland opened the defence of their tri-nations title in formidable fashion on Friday, beating Wales 3-0 and drawing 2-2 in their other game against the Dragons.
On Saturday, they faced hosts Northern Ireland and, in the first game, earned a draw through David Murphy’s second half equaliser. Carlos Donovan then thought he had won it for Ireland but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Ireland went ahead in the second fixture against the North, courtesy of a John O’Sullivan header after a quarter of an hour.
Northern Ireland responded well in the second half and scored two spectacular goals to clinch a 2-1 victory and, with it, the title outright.
Under-15 Tri-nations Tournament Results:
(All played at Wilgar Park, Belfast)
Friday, May 23
Republic of Ireland ‘B’ 2-2 Wales ‘B’
Republic of Ireland ‘A’ 3-0 Wales ‘A’
Saturday, May 24
Northern Ireland ‘B’ 1-1 Republic of Ireland ‘B’
Northern Ireland ‘A’ 2-1 Republic of Ireland ‘A’.
Republic of Ireland ‘A’: Niall Burdon (Stade Rennais), Michael Barker (Shelbourne), Sean McGinty (Charlton Athletic), Daniel Devine (Crumlin United), James Kavanagh (Belvedere), Shane Byrne (Crumlin United), Daniel Mahon (Raheny United), Robert Maloney (St. Joesph’s Boys), Daniel McGuinness (Lourdes Celtic), Daniel Purdy (Crumlin United), John O'Sullivan (Belvedere).
Subs: Lorcan Shannon (St. Kevin’s Boys) for Kavanagh and Carl McHugh (Dungloe Town) for Shane Byrne – both 50 mins, Gary Merrit (Milford United) for Daniel Mahon –55 mins. Connor Morrissey (Waterford Bohemians) for Barker and Sean McDermott (IK Vaag) for Burdon– both 61 mins,
Report from Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland completed the double in the U15 Tri Nations Tournament, winning both groups for the first time.
The ‘A’ team needed to defeat the Republic to finish as champions. That looked unlikely when the visitors went in front one minute after the break but Cormac Burke restored hopes with a cracking right foot shot from the edge of the box which went in off the post.
Northern Ireland pressed strongly and were rewarded 10 minutes from the end with a brilliant goal. Midfielder David Morgan picked the ball up 30 yards out and fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner.