England 0-2 Republic of Ireland
Clare’s Aislinn Meaney (Lifford) and Chloe Maloney (Connolly Celtic) helped the Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 side secure a memorable victory over England to commence their UEFA Championships Elite Qualifying Round on a brilliant note at Turner’s Cross this evening.
First half goals from Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Saoirse Noonan gave Dave Connell’s side the platform for the three points and set up a critical encounter against the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon.
Peamount United striker Doyle opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a brilliant individual goal. She cut in from the left, beat a defender then slotted the ball past the advancing keeper Sian Rogers with class.
England responded immediately with their captain Chloe Kelly tested Irish keeper Amanda McQuillan within a minute of the opener but the Raheny United stopper made a solid stop.
McQuillan denied Kelly again three minutes later but Ireland could have extended their lead when Rogers denied Sarah McKevitt on the half hour.
Four minutes later Noonan stunned the visitors with a terrific strike from the edge of the box that looped over keeper Rogers following great work by Aislinn Meany in the build-up.
McQuillan denied the impressive Alessia Russo in first half injury time as the Irish held firm until the break.
The Irish keeper kept out a Georgia Stanway effort in the 50th minute then nine minutes later the Irish had a great chance when a free-kick fired across by Courtney Higgins almost found Noonan but she failed to connect properly and a great chance was passed up.
McQuillan made two saves within a minute to deny Taylor Hinds and Russo once more then kept out a Russo effort again in the 74th minute and Ireland held on for the victory.
ENGLAND: Rogers, Patten, Pacheco (Allen 73), Peplow, Finnigan, Russo, Stanway, Kelly, Devlin (Hinds 41), Wubben-Moy, Fisk.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: McQuillan, O’Callaghan, Higgins, Finn, Moloney, Daly (McCartan 80+3), McLaughlin, Doyle (Prior 61), Noonan, Meaney, McKevitt (Beirne 54).
FIXTURES & RESULTS
UEFA Women’s U17 Championships Elite round Group 2
Thursday, April 9
Netherlands 5-1 Hungary, St Colman’s Park, Cobh (3.00pm)
England 0-2 Republic of Ireland, Turner’s Cross, Cork (7.00pm)
Saturday, April 11
Republic of Ireland v Netherlands, Turner’s Cross, Cork (3.00pm)
England v Hungary, St Colman’s Park, Cobh (6.00pm)
Tuesday, April 14
Netherlands v England, St Colman’s Park, Cobh (12.00pm)
Hungary v Republic of Ireland, Turner’s Cross, Cork (12.00pm)