Women’s Under-17 Friendly International
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Poland.
The Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 side claimed victory at the Oscar Traynor Centre over the Polish counterparts in Sunday’s second part of a double-friendly between the nations.
Poland were the more impressive team in Friday’s first game, deservedly winning the match 2-1.
Ireland were keen to atone for that loss and upped the performance levels considerably to win their final match before the UEFA Elite qualifying series gets under way next month.
Amy Ryan, Ireland’s scorer on Friday, was again on the score-sheet as she slotted home a first-half opener to give the Irish the upper-hand at the interval.
They might have been further ahead by the break but the Polish goalkeeper produced a terrific save to deny a penalty by Maria Delahunty.
The visitors drew level with just two minutes of the second half elapsed after they punished some slack marking by Ireland.
However, the home side got the winning goal they so richly deserved when, with 20 minutes remaining, Karen Duggan pounced in the six-yard box to convert Amy Ryan’s perfect delivery from a corner kick.
Republic of Ireland coach Johnny Morris-Burke paid tribute to his players. He said: “Everybody was disappointed with how Friday’s game went and the Girls responded very well in the second match.
“There were some excellent individual performances across the team and I was delighted that Karen Duggan, our captain, scored her first International goal to win the match.”
Ireland will open their UEFA Elite stage qualifiers by facing Scotland on March 18 before they meet mini-group hosts France on March 20. The Irish will complete the series with a tie against Norway on March 23 with only the pool winner advancing to the European Championship finals in the summer.
Republic of Ireland team:
Sinead Crotty – Connecticut United
Emer Flatley - Salthill Devon
Megan Campbell - Moneymore
Rebecca Walsh - Salthill Devon
Emily Hanney - Stella Maris
Julieanne Russell – Salthill Devon
Maria Delahunty - Benfica
Karen Duggan - Piltown
Gillian McDonnell - Dundalk City
Amy Ryan - Stella Maris
Aine McKeever – Killea FC
Substitutions (all second half):
Niamh Reid-Burke - Raheny United for Crotty
Tanya Kennedy – Finn Valley for Delahunty
Yvonne Cahill - Lakewood Athletic for Campbell
Ciara Grant - Lagan Harps for McDonnell
Zoe Murphy – Ballincollig for Flatley
Anna McCormack – Cam Celtic for McKeever.