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Ross Redman

U16's defeat Poland in International Friendly

Northern Ireland U16 team defeats Poland

The Northern Ireland Under 16 team recorded the first win over Poland at this level since 2003 when two goals from Jonny Evans secured a 2-1 win.  Gerard Lyttle's boys maintained their unbeaten run this season and they did it the hard way by coming from behind to defeat a strong Polish side by the same scoreline at Shamrock Park.

The home team began strongly with Connor Scannell and Conor Falls causing problems down the flanks. Despite the strong pressure from Northern Ireland in the early stages it was the visitors who opened the scoring against the run of play after 18 minutes. Mateusz Lipp met a corner on the right with a strong header which was blocked on the line by Michael Forbes but the rebound came back to the tall defender who volleyed home from close range.

Soon afterwards Conor Falls did well to hold off a challenge from two defenders but Polish keeper Oliwier Zych got down well to his left to keep out his low drive.

On 28 minutes Jake Wallace made a great run down the right but his cross was just too high for the inrushing Scannell.

Poland were always dangerous on the counterattack and Kacper Duda pounced upon slackness in the home defence but dragged his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

Northern Ireland made a sensational start to the second half and drew level inside the first minute as Polish centre back Radosław Seweryś deflected a low cross into his own net.  Five minutes later Northern Ireland took the lead.  A free kick from the left by Matthew Carson was headed back across goal by Michael Forbes and Jamie Donley was quick to react, forcing the ball in from six yards.

Poland responded well to this reverse and launched a series of attacks. Northern Ireland keeper Alex Henderson was in constant action producing an excellent save to keep out a fierce drive by Iwo Kaczmarski.  In the closing stages Poland pressed strongly in search of an equaliser but found it difficult to break down a staunch defence in which Forbes and substitute Aidan Lillis stood out.

The teams meet again  at The Oval on Wednesday night, kick off 7.00 pm and Northern Ireland will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten record this season before they set off next week to defend the Victory Shield in Wrexham against Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland

Alex Henderson, Jake Wallace, Matthew Carson, Michael Forbes, Josh Roney, Harry Wilson, Brodie Spencer, Jamie McDonnell (C), Jamie Donley, Conor Scannell, Conor Falls

 

Substitutes

Charlie Lindsay replaced Spencer (45 minutes)

Jacson Coppack replaced Falls (45 minutes)

Callam Marshall replaced McDonnell (65 minutes)

Aidan Lillis replaced Roney (65 minutes)

Lewis Tosh replaced Donley (72 minutes)

Northern Ireland’s U16s hit five against Estonia’s

Northern Ireland’s U16s hit five against Estonia’s U16s in their second challenge match of the week against the Estonians.

 After registering a comfortable 2-0 win in game one the U16s followed it up with a fine display and a 5-2 victory in an entertaining game at Stangmore Park in Dungannon.

 Gerard Lyttle’s team got off to a great start with Charlie Lindsay netting from 10 yards with only four minutes on the clock. 

Northern Ireland then went close several times before Bobby Deane doubled the lead on 20 minutes, tapping in from close range following a goalmouth scramble.

On the half-hour mark Andreas Vaher was narrowly off target as the visitors came more into the game.  

Estonian centre forward Romet Kaupmees was a constant threat and was rewarded for his hard work in the 36thminute. He took advantage of slackness in the Northern Ireland defence when he intercepted a poor back pass to drill the ball home.

Shortly after the interval Lindsay restored the two-goal advantage with another fine strike. And then on 58 minutes Estonian centre back Ants Virkus put through his own goal under pressure from Conor Scannell.

Estonian striker Nikita Kondratski showed a fine turn of speed on 67 minutes to outpace two Northern Ireland defenders and slot the ball just inside the post, giving substitute keeper Matthew Williamson no chance. 

However, just a minute later Northern Ireland captain Michael Forbes met a corner from the right to power a header into the roof of the net to leave the final score at 5-2.

The Northern Ireland U16 Schoolboys will travel to Finland next month for two challenge games and will then play Poland at home on Monday 14 October and Wednesday 16 October in preparation for the defence of the Victory Shield in Wales at the end of October.

Northern Ireland U16s:Billy McDowell (replaced by Matthew Williamson 52’), Jake Wallace, Bobby Deane (Callan Devlin 40’), Michael Forbes (captain), Josh Roney (Ruairi McConville 40’), Harry Wilson (Ethan Sousa 57’), Conor Scannell, Jamie McDonnell (Lewis Tosh 40’), Brodie Spencer (Cameron Crook 57’), Charlie Lindsay, Elliott Wood (Conor Falls 57’).

Main image: Northern Ireland's Bobby Deane celebrates scoring against Estonia during Wednesday nights Under 16 Invitational International at Stangmore Park, Dungannon. Photo: William Cherry/Presseye

NI U16 start campaign with win

Northern Ireland’s U16s registered a comfortable 2-0 victory against Estonia’s U16s in the first of two challenge matches against the Estonians this week.

Gerard Lyttle’s team began strongly in the game at Knockbreda, with Charlie Lindsay in particular causing problems for the visitors with his pace down the right wing.  

Estonian keeper Kaupo Kruusmäe initially kept the U16 Schoolboys at bay, producing good saves to deny Harry Wilson and Jamie McDonnell. 

But his resistance crumbled on 27 minutes as Lindsay carved open the Estonian defence and his low cross was tapped in by Brodie Spencer from close range to put Northern Ireland one up.

Seven minutes later Northern Ireland captain Jamie McDonnell doubled the lead with a wonderful strike. The talented midfielder picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and fired an unstoppable shot past Kruusmäe into the roof of the net.

On the stroke of half-time Estonia missed a great chance to reduce the deficit when Gregor Lehtmets was brought down inside the box. The striker took the spot kick himself but Billy McDowell produced a great save low to his left to keep the ball out.

After the break Northern Ireland continued to press but it was Estonia who came closest to scoring when Romet Kaupmees broke through but his shot was cleared off the line by Michael Forbes.

In the closing stages Kruusmäe produced another outstanding save to keep out a fierce drive from Elliott Wood.

The two games against Estonia are kick-starting preparations for the Victory Shield in November when the Northern Ireland U16 Schoolboys will be looking to retain the trophy.

The teams meet again at Stangmore Park in Dungannon tomorrow (21 August). Kick-off time is 7 pm.

Northern Ireland U16s: Billy McDowell, Jake Wallace, Bobby Deane (replaced by Lewis Tosh 52’), Michael Forbes, Josh Roney (Ruairi McConville 61’), Harry Wilson, Conor Scannell (Elliott Wood 52’), Jamie McDonnell (captain), Brodie Spencer, Charlie Lindsay (Ethan Sousa 61’), Cameron Crook (Callan Devlin 52’).

Substitutes: (not used) Matthew Williamson, Callum Marshall.

St Columb's Win Alan McKinstry Cup

The Alan McKinstry Cup was held in Belfast on the 22nd -24th May.  The British Isles competition included teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and hosts Northern Ireland. One of the two NI teams Aquinas Grammar had a good 2-1 win over Welsh side Bishopston and Boclair claimed a 3-2 win over Henry Cort to top the table after day 1 of the Allen McKinstry.  St Columb's and Patrician battled a cagey 0-0 draw which the Derry lads won the bonus point with a 4-2 penalty win. 

In the second round of games a fine win by Aquinas Grammar School over Boclair and a 3-1 victory by St Columb's over Henry Cort secured both final places for the two teams from Northern Ireland.

St Columb's emerged as clear victors in the Allen McKinstry final this morning at the Billy Neill Soccer Centre.  They defeated a game Aquinas Grammar team 3-1 in the all Northern Ireland final.  Elsewhere, Boclair beat Bishopston 5-4 and Henry Cort fought back from a 7 minute three goal deficit to level right at the final whistle. 

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