U-16 Boys and Girls Challenge series vs Austria
Ireland’s U-16 boys and girls ramped up their preparations for their respective European championships campaigns with a 4-0 win a piece over Austria on Saturday in Belfield.
For the boys, they always looked in control against the side seeded fourth in Europe at this level – Ireland are ranked sixth with Germany and England not competing in the Euros.
Suttonians’ firebrand Jack Ryan broke the deadlock just five minutes in, getting on the end of a classy move which saw Alex Burns take on a quick free.
He squared for Johnny McKee who picked out Jack Wilson on the right post to lay up for Ryan to slip in a great team goal.
Wilson went close on a couple of other occasions but Ireland had to wait until the 54th minute before doubling the advantage. Peter McKibbin’s brilliant left-wing reverse-stick cross left Jack Henderson with the simplest of tasks, guiding home at the centre of the goal
Cookstown’s Andy Smyth has a similarly well-placed touch to make as Jazze Henry and Henderson manufactured room to slap across goal with Smyth the grateful recipient.
Austria’s best opening came from their only corner but Ireland were in the mood late on as Ryan’s reverse-stick effort bounced kindly for Rowan Poots to rebound.
The girls game earlier had followed a similarly pattern as Kathryn Edgar nabbed an early lead but an extension of that took its time in coming.
Anna Roopnarinesingh shot home a cracking second on 45 minutes, drifting in from the left wing and angling into the corner.
And the Alex striker snagged an inviting second seven minutes later when a corner bounced her way off the crossbar for a simple third.
Sara Quill completed the win with ten minutes to go as Clodagh Moloney swept a corner shot goalwards and the Wesley forward provided the elevation to ramp over the goalkeeper.
Day one results: Ireland U-16 Boys 4 (Jack Ryan, Jack Henderson, Andy Smyth, Rowan Poots) Austria 0; Ireland U-16 girls 4 (Anna Roopnarinesingh 2, Sara Quill, Kathryn Edgar) Austria 0
Both Irish boys and girls suffered a change in fortunes as Austria put in a marked improvement to emerge from day two of their series unbeaten.
On the boy’s side, Austria were efficient with their corners to annul Jordan Larmour’s neatly taken tap-in as they scored two from their three corners.
Jamie Carr produced an excellent stop to keep out a third effort with a diving stick save while Ireland’s forward line could not take one of the series of chances they created.
On the girl’s side, Kathryn Edgar’s second goal in two games allowed Ireland to come away with a share of the spoils. She got on the end of an incisive Bryony Biggam pass across the top of the circle to finish off.
Austria had taken a first half lead in a physically testy battle but Ireland had a number of second half openings but were similarly frustrated for the most part.
Day two results: Ireland U-16 Boys 1 (Jordan Larmour) Austria 2; Ireland U-16 girls 1 (Kathryn Edgar) Austria 1
Day three The boys and girls closed out winning series on Monday with second victories each over the Austrian visitors. Luke Madeley and Neil Byrne’s first half goals put the boys 2-0 up at half-time before Austria pulled one back. The girls ran up their second 4-0 win to end the series unbeaten.
Day three results: Ireland U-16 Boys 2 (Luke Madeley, Neil Byrne) Austria 1; Ireland U-16 Girls selection 4 Austria 0
Ireland U-16 girls panel for Austrian series: Aisling Cronin (Loreto Wexford), Emma Duncan (Kilkenny College/Old Alex), Edel Nyland (Ursuline Convent Thurles/Catholic Institute, Clodagh Moloney (Crescent CS/Catholic Institute), Eimear Ryan (Laurel Hill Colaiste/Catholic Institute), Amber Gleeson (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Jenna Volpert (Isle of Man/Hermes), Rachel Gray (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Bryony Biggam (St Gerards/Loreto), Anna Roopnarinesingh (Alexandra College/Old Alex), Sara Quill (Wesley/Corinthian), Sarah Patton (Loreto, Dalkey/Hermes), Elena Tice (St Gerard’s), Ayeshia McFerran (Larne GS/Randalstown), Kathryn Edgar (Tandragee JH/Lurgan), Emma Kernaghan (Ballymena Academy/Ballymena), Ruth Maguire (Larne GS/Randalstown), Faye Kidd (Belfast Royal Academy/Randalstown), Taite Doherty (Cambridge House/Pegasus), Naomi Costley (Lurgan College/Lurgan)