Saturday, June 27, 2009

Irish underage round-up: Day one

U-18 Girls 4 (Chloe Watkins 2, Lynsey Trainor, Irene Gorman) Scotland 2 (Kirsty Wilson, Stephanie McInally

Ireland's U-18 girls began their three-game series on Friday night with a low-key victory in a game reduced to 25 minutes each way due to the late arrival of some of Scotland's player. The visitors did, however, take an early lead from a quick free, neatly deflected in by Kirsty Wilson.

The Irish response was immediate; Niamh Atcheler's overhead causing mayhem as Vanessa Surgeoner controlled amid the confusion to calmly assist Irene Gorman on the back post (pictured, left).

Scotland retook the lead with a crisp strike from 12 yards but Ireland levelled for a second time when Gillian Pinder drew in the Scottish defence, freeing up Lynsey Trainor to score after the Hermes' attacker weighted a perfect pass to notch up the assist.

Ireland improved in the second half and looked more threatening throughout. Chloe Watkins (pictured, below right) bagged the third goal from a penalty corner drag-flick - via a defender's body - before completing the win from the penalty spot, after Pinder's shot had found a Scottish foot blocking it's route to goal.

Ireland U-16 Girls 2 (Lucy McKee 2) England 3 (Abby Brant, Jessica Hitman, Joe Lee)
In a high tempo clash, Ireland's U-16 girls got their first taste as a team of the new auto-pass ruling. They were initially pinned back by the English visitors to Serpentine Avenue but looked to have weathered the storm due to some good defending but were stung just as they started to break the siege by Abby Brant's opener.

Undeterred, the side responded swiftly as Lucy McKee weaved through two defenders and a goalkeeper to tie the game up and the Irish were in the ascendancy until the break.

But barely a minute into the second period, England were back in front when the aptly named Jessica Hitman made it 2-1. McKee equalised for a second time with another stylish effort but the English side took the win via a quick free on the right flank, working the ball to the back post for Joe Lee to tap in.

McKee and Upton went close soon after but a third leveller proved just out of reach.

U-16 Boys 1 (Ross Canning) England 3
Ross Canning's well taken goal was all Ireland U-16s had to show for their efforts in the first of their three test matches with England at UCD this weekend.

*For more of Adrian Boehm's pictures from Friday's Ireland U-18s vs Scotland, click here

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