Ireland’s U-18s concluded their three-game series with Belgium with a pair of defeats at Belfield this morning, the boys missing out by the odd goal in five while the visitors found their form in the girl’s tie to win comfortably.
The girls, as a result, ended up tying the series with a win, draw and a loss after they fell behind inside the first five minutes to a Belgian corner. They created plenty of chances in the second quarter to level; Aisling Naughton’s flashing reverse wide while Deirdre Duke and Katie Codyre both hitting the sideboard during a rain-soaked first half.
But another neat corner in the second half sealed the win, Axelle Wouters deflecting in before Justine de Vooght cleverly played in Alix Gerniers to complete the scoring.
The boy’s game was a livelier affair despite ten of the Irish panel playing their sixth game in seven days. Matthias Dubois guided home a fourth minute corner but Shane Madeley (pictured, below left) finished off Nick Burns’ baseline reverse to level inside 45 seconds.
Belgium, though, enjoyed a smarter period in the next 40 minutes, forcing Ben Dobson to hack one off the line and built a lead early in the second half when Arno Devreker twice profited.
Hugh McShane diverted home a corner with 15 minutes remaining and Ireland piled on the pressure but an equaliser proved elusive.
Elsewhere, in Cookstown Ireland A finished off their two-game series with Scotland last night with a 2-0 defeat – Morag McClelland and Ali Howe with the goals – despite an improved overall performance from their 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
Kate Dillon netted Ireland’s strike in that tie but Ann Brody’s effort meant honours were even. Ireland A now reverts to being an U-21 panel for the men’s and women’s Junior Celtic Cup which gets underway in Cookstown on Friday.
Today: Ireland U-18 boys 2 (Shane Madeley, Hugh McShane) Belgium 3 (Arno Devreker 2, Matthias Dubois); Ireland U-18 girls 0 Belgium 3 (Axelle Wouters 2, Alix Gerniers)
Wednesday: Ireland A women 0 Scotland 2 (Morag McClelland, Ali Howe)
Tuesday: Ireland A women 1 (Kate Dillon) Scotland 1 (Ann Brody)
* For a couple of pics from today’s Ireland U-18 boys vs Belgium, click here