News published 18th March 2011
CENTENARY SHIELD - Ireland come up short in Centenary Shield
Northern Ireland 2 Martin Murray (71),Cathair Friel (90+2) - 0 Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland’s title hopes suffered a major setback tonight (March 17) following a defeat to their border rivals in the St. Patrick's Day encounter at the Oval in Belfast reports John Fallon.
There will be no Under-18 Schools Centenary Shield glory for holders Republic of Ireland this year after Northern Ireland took the riches in a closely fought encounter. However, Dave Archbold can make amends by sharing the title spoils if the team can pull off victories in their two remaining fixtures.
This was the North’s first ever victory in the Centenary Shield at home to the Republic. They last one against the Irish side in 1995 in the Celtic Cup and this win will be a major boost for Bob Ramsey’s outfit as they travel to Wales next month.
Goals in the final twenty minutes from Martin Murray and Cathair Friel sealed the win for table-toppers Northern Ireland which keeps them on course for the five-team crown with one game remaining for them.
The result leaves the Republic with one point from their two games, six behind Northern Ireland with a game less played. As goal difference doesn't feature, the best the Republic can achieve at this stage is a share of the championship, only if they record victories over Scotland and England coupled with a Wales win over Northern Ireland.
Missing some key starters from their opener against Wales - Paul Mannion, Colm Horgan and striker Garbhan Coughlan - the Irish were much changed for the Belfast fixture. The absence of the injured John Mountney for a second consecutive time also left Archbold looking deep into his reserve panel.
Despite dominating possession during the early exchanges, Ireland's lone striker Chris Lyons had little service to feed of.
In fact, the Irish only had a Hugh Douglas half-volley from distance on the half hour that flashed wide to show in terms of first-half goal scoring chances.
The lethal left foot of Niall Quinn carried Northern Ireland's most potent attacking threat in the opening 45 minutes, his two long range efforts close to the break their nearest to a breakthrough.
Ireland's first attempt on goal didn't arrive until ten minutes into the second half when Hugh Douglas brought a save from Ross Glendinning and the North's stopper denied Chris Lyons with a superb one-handed stop ten minutes later.
Northern Ireland always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and the opener came nineteen minutes from full-time.
Jude Winchester was given too much space on the right to curl a delivery across the six yard box to Martin Murray who had the simple task of heading past the stranded Greg Murray.
Ireland looked to rescue an equaliser late on by switching to three at the back but their efforts were halted two minutes into stoppage time when one substitute, Caolan McAleer, crossed for another, Cathair Friel, who shook of his marker and blasted home the second Northern Ireland goal from close range.
Archbold is optimistic of their title revival with a share of the spoils when they travel to Dumfries on April 1 to face Scotland followed by England at home in Tallaght on April 28. The final game will be televised live on Sky Sports.
The Irish will be hoping that they can make a comeback in their penultimate game to make the final tie with England a showcase for the Shield campaign conclusion.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Glendinning, J. Robinson, Bonner, Carson, Hughes, McGuigan, Murray, Quinn, T. Robinson, Rosato, Winchester.
Subs: Lowry for Rosato (h/t), McAleer for T. Robinson (68 mins), Friel for Carson (83 mins), Harkin for Murray (89 mins)
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Murray (Phobailscoil Iosolde); Barker (Fingal CC), Cooney (Templeogue CC), R. McLaughlin (Carndonagh), Matthews (Clonkeen College, Blackrock); Merritt (Loreto CS, Milford), Douglas (St. Brendan's College, Bray), Chambers (St. Fintan's), Kavanagh (Oatlands College), C. McLaughlin (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana); Lyons (Presentation, Bray).
Subs: Timlin (Scoil Mhuire SS, Buncrana) for C. McLaughlin (h/t), Lane (Presentation College, Athenry) for Kavanagh (61 mins), Adam Piggott (Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk) for Cooney (73 mins), Tony McNamee (Loreto CS, Milford) for Merritt (83 mins)
Referee: Ross Dunlop (Belfast)
To promote the game of Association Football in all schools, contact Diane Fay, National Administrative Officer, Football Association of Ireland Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 8999522
Return to list