Shane O’Donoghue’s brilliant quadruple fired Ireland’s U-18 boys to a 4-2 win over Scotland in their opening Home Nations tie at Garryduff this afternoon, firing three inside the first half.
It was a tally of sheer quality as the Irish held off a Ben Peterson-inspired second half fightback when the Irish looked to have let their early dominance slip.
The Glenanne man (pictured) opened the scoring inside 90 seconds, following up his own rebound to break the deadlock. Ireland dominated for the remainder of the half, O’Donoghue miscuing the best chance after Luke Chadwick teed him up one-on-one, but two goals within the 34th minute were to eventually reflect the pressure on scoreboard.
O’Donoghue drifted across the circle before firing home a crisp, open-side bullet across the Scottish goalkeeper’s bows for 2-0.
And his third was equally classy. Nick Burns took down an overhead and squared for O’Donoghue to rip the net with a reverse and a three goal half-time advantage.
But Scotland took advantage of some lacks Irish play after the interval, Peterson reversing home from the left after a quick counter for a lifeline and, in the 47th minute, he slid home again on his back-hand from Peter Baldwin’s square ball.
Their ascendancy, though, was cut short when Iain Duke was sin-binned for a robust challenge on Chadwick and, with him in the bin, O’Donoghue rolled home his fourth after Burns laid on with some fine legwork three minutes from time.
Tom Samuel impressed at the back as did Ben Dobson on the right-side of defence and will need to be on form again tomorrow when they face England. They demolished Wales 5-0 in the day’s opening fixture.
U-18 Boys Home Nations, standings 1. England 3pts (+5) 2. Ireland 3pts (+2) 3. Scotland 0pts (-2) 4. Wales 0pts (-5)