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Ross Redman

U16's earn draw in Poland

Under 16s draw in Poland

Buoyed  by their success in capturing the Victory Shield one week ago the Northern Ireland Under 16 team began their short tour to Poland in confident mood despite facing an experienced Polish team which had lost only once in ten outings this year..

The visitors started brightly and might have taken the lead after 5 minutes. Sean McAllister was brought down just outside the penalty area and took the free kick himself, bringing an outstanding save from Krzysztof Barkowski.

Five minutes later Poland replied with a speculative shot from Aleksander Buksa which dipped just over the bar.

A corner by Conor Bradley caused problems in the home defence and Charlie Allen's close range effort was cleared off the line.  Allen then outpaced his marker down the right and a low cross was turned onto the post by Dale Taylor.

After the break another foray down the right saw Allen fire a low ball across the goal but Taylor was just unable to apply the finishing touch.

Buksa was a constant threat for Poland and the tall striker almost broke the deadlock midway through the second half but his shot from 25 yards crashed against the bar with Conner Byrne well beaten.

In the closing stages spurred on by a vociferous support Poland piled on the pressure but the Northern Ireland defence, in which centre back Shea Charles was a calming influence, held firm for a well deserved draw.                                                                   

The teams meet again on Thursday at Swarzędz.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Conner Byrne, Sean McAllister, Sean Stewart, Aaron Donnelly, Shea Charles, Orrin McLaughlin, Charlie Allen, Jonah Heron, Dale Taylor, Isaac Price, Conor Bradley (captain)

 

Substitutes

Caolan McBride (replaced Bradley 80 + 3 minutes)

NI Claim Victory Shield

Northern Ireland’s U16 Schoolboys defeated Wales 3-1 in Tralee this afternoon to claim the Victory Shield for only the second time in the country’s history.

Orrin McLaughlin, Vicky Saldanha and Euan Williams (penalty) scored the goals that created history for Declan Boyle’s team.

A 1-1 draw against Scotland on Wednesday night meant a win against Wales this afternoon would see them lift the trophy for the first time since 2000-01 when a certain Steven Davis was part of the squad.

Northern Ireland defeated the Republic of Ireland 3-1 in their first game in the tournament on Monday.

 

 

NI still undefeated in Victory Shield

Victory Shield U 16 Tournament Tralee Co. Kerry. Match 2 Northern Ireland v Scotland Mounthawk Park, Wednesday 14 November 2018. KO 6 pm.

 

Brave Northern Ireland stay top of the Victory Shield table after a battling 1-1 draw with Scotland despite playing with ten men from the 30 th minute of the opening half.

Scotland took the lead after 20 min. with a goal from striker Christopher Mochrie who beat Conner Byrne at his near post with a clinical finish. Northern Ireland suffered a set back on the half hour when  Sean McAllister received a second yellow card.

On resumption in the second half substitute Charlie Allen went close with a low left foot shot which was just inches wide. In the 50th min substitute Euan Williams brilliantly cut inside his marker from the right before unleashing an unstoppable shot low to the keeper’s left.

Two minutes later Ross McCausland almost gave Northern Ireland the lead when he shot across the keeper, but it just drifted wide of the left hand post. On the hour Scotland’s Alex Lowry spurned a good chance when he shot wide from inside the box.

Northern Ireland’s defence was outstanding against late Scottish pressure, but on the counterattack Northern Ireland looked threatening and Dale Taylor raced through the heart of the Scottish defence, but his pass to McCausland was slightly overhit.

Despite 5 added minutes in driving rain Scotland could not breach a solid Northern Ireland rearguard in which centre backs Lewis MacKinnon & Aaron Donnelly were outstanding.

Northern Ireland can now go on & win the Victory Shield by beating Wales on Friday.

Overall a tremendous team display by the Northern Ireland heroes.  Manager Gerald Boyle ‘’ Delighted with the performances of all the boys and how they adapted tactically to Scotland’s setup, especially going down to ten men, so early in the game. Very proud, however, we want to push on and bring the Victory Shield home outright for only the second time in 73 years. ‘’ 

U16's defeat Victory shield holder in opener

Northern Ireland’s Schoolboys got their 2018 Victory Shield campaign off to a flying start with a fine win against their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland.

Two late goals helped them ease past the Republic, the current shield holders, on a 3-1 scoreline in Co Kerry.

This year’s Under-16 Schoolboys’ competition is being organised by the Football Association of Ireland’s Schools department on behalf of the Schools’ Association Football International Board.

The first half of the game, which was played at Mounthawk Park in Tralee last night, was pretty even, although Northern Ireland shaded it in terms of possession.

Both sides had opportunities before the first clearcut chance fell to Republic striker Oliver O’Neill but he directed a cross from Lee Harkin over the bar.

Then Republic midfielder Ben McCormack smashed a shot against the post before striker Louie Barry’s long range effort was palmed away superbly by Northern Ireland keeper Conner Byrne on 32 minutes. 

After the break, however, Northern Ireland started to get a grip on proceedings and they deservedly took the lead on 62 minutes when Linfield attacker Ross McCausland drilled the ball into the net from just outside the area.

The Republic drew level just a minute later when O’Neill pounced on a mistake by a defender and slammed the ball home. 

The home side pushed forward – cheered on by a 500-strong crowd – but Northern Ireland launched a superb counter attack on 85 minutes which resulted in them taking the lead. Following a flowing move substitute Ciaran McGuckin (Rotherham United) was on hand to stroke the ball into the corner of the net. 

And St Oliver Plunkett player Sean Stewart put the icing on the cake in stoppage time with another lovely finish. 

The Victory Shield was presented to SAFIB in 1947 to mark, as suggested by its title, victory by the Allies in World War II - and has been played for continuously since then. England have not entered for the past few years, so Northern Ireland’s U16s are facing Wales, Scotland and the Republic in the 2018 tournament this week.

Northern Ireland will be hoping to produce another positive display in their second game in the competition, which is against Scotland at Mounthawk tomorrow (14 November, 18.00). Their final game is also at Mounthawk on Friday when they take on Wales (13.00). 

Northern Ireland Schoolboys team v Republic of Ireland: Conner Byrne, Sean Stewart, Aaron Donnelly, Lewis MacKinnon, Orrin McLaughlin, Conor Bradley (captain), Charlie Allen, Dale Taylor (Ciaran McGuckin 70’), Euan Williams (Caolan McBride 62’), Ross McCausland, Vicky Saldanha (Sean McAllister 70’).

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