Monday, June 30, 2008

Ireland U-16 Boys vs Scotland

Ireland's U-16 boys produced a mixed-bag of performances in their recent three match series against Scotland. They opened with a stellar second half performance at Jordanstown, winning 5-1 despite a scoreless first half.

Ireland came to life in the 50th minute, Stephen Dowds won a penalty stroke which he duly converted for a 1-0 lead. Within minutes Ireland doubled their lead when Shane O'Donoghue pounced on a defensive error and reverse sticked the ball into the roof of the net before they ran in three further goals.

The score was reversed in the second game with Scotland bouncing back to win 2-1. It took Ireland 20 minutes to get into the game when they went ahead through a Stephen Dowd's drag flick.

Scotland equalised five minutes before half time when Ken Patterson, dribbled from a short corner to slip the ball into the middle of the goal. Ireland missed several easy goal scoring opportunities in a physically contested second half and paid the price ten minutes from full time when Scotland scored their winner from broken set piece play for Alan Forsythe to slot home.

Ireland claimed overall honours in the third match, though, with a 4-3 win. They opened the scoring in the third minute when Dowd rounded the Scottish goalkeeper and squared to Ian Sloan to slot the ball firmly home.

Scotland responded in the 12th minute when from a corner and shot from close range. The Irish regained the lead when Darren Sweetnam picked up a cross from open play and dragged the ball under the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Captain Richard Sykes increased his teams advantage just before half time when he scored with a miss hit penalty corner strike and Shane Madeley pounced on a defensive mistake and drilled the ball in at the back post to make it 4-1 in the second half.

Scotland responded through Alan Forsythe who scored twice to complete his hat-trick but it was all in vain as Ireland held on.

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