Irish underage sides battle it out with Scotland

The Irish Under-18 girls and boys both completed series victories over Scotland over the Easter weekend at Jordanstown as they kickstart their preparations for this summer’s European championships.

The Under-16s, meanwhile, won one of three in Glasgow on the boys side while the girls had a win, draw and a loss in their series.

Under-18 Boys
The side opened up with a 3-1 win over the Scots, taking a 1-0 lead via Bandon man Dave Jennings in the 20th minute before they held out four Scottish corners before half-time with Ben Bradley making a couple of good stops.

Matthew Nelson doubled the lead in the second half with a lovely deflection before John Guilfoyle stretched it out to 3-0 from a corner. Scotland got one back with four minutes to go via Owen Jenkins-Garcia

In game two, Guy Sarratt’s drag-flick started the run en route to a 3-0 win. David Rae got the second in the second half with a flicked finish before Calum Crowley closed out the result.

They completed the series with a 3-1 loss in spite of Rae’s deflected corner effort. Aidan McQuade equalised before James Nairn put Scotland in front for the first time. Cameron Golden got the only goals of the second half to earn the Scots the result.

Ireland 3 (D Jennings, M Nelson, J Guifolyle) Scotland 1 (O Jenkins-Garcia)
Saturday: Ireland 3 (G Sarratt, D Rae, C Crowley) Scotland 0
Sunday: Ireland 1 (D Rae) Scotland 3 (A McQuade, J Nairn, C Golden)

Under-18 Girls
The Under-18 girls ran up three successive victories to sweep Scotland in impressive style. Abbie Russell scored the opening goal in game one from a lovely interchange for the only goal of the first half.

She added the second, too, off the back of Hannah McLoughlin’s pass with a neat finish. Michelle and Niamh Carey combined for the third to complete the win.

In game two, all the damage was done in the first half with Freya McDermott slapping home from a corner switch. Grace McLoughlin set up number two for Michelle Barry from close range.

And they closed out with another big win on Sunday, 6-2. Barry turned in Rosie Henderson’s cross in the sixth minute for the perfect start. Injector Jess McMaster tapped home from a clever corner move before Scotland got one back from Laura Finlay.

Kathryn Edgar restored the two-goal wedge from Ellen Curran’s pass for a 3-1 half-time lead. Russell got her third goal of the weekend from McDermott’s reverse-cross before Michelle Carey got in on the act amid a goalmouth scramble.

Millie Steiger got one back but Rachel Burns goal completed the rout.

Ireland 3 (A Russell 2, N Carey) Scotland 0
Saturday: Ireland 2 (F McDermott, M Barry) Scotland 0
Sunday: Ireland 6 (M Barry, J McMaster, K Edgar, A Russell, M Carey, R Burns) Scotland 2 (L Finlay, M Steiger)

Under-16 Boys

A brace from Fraser Moran and Jacob Tweedie goal gave Scotland U16 Boys a winning start in their three match series. Luke Adams had given the visitors the lead from a seventh minute penalty corner. However, a fantasic solo run from Andrew McConnell set up Jacob Tweedie in front of goal right on the stroke of half-time, the youngster’s strike giving the Scots an equaliser in the 35th minute.

Six minutes after the interval, a penalty corner award led to Fraser Moran unleashing a ferocious drag-flick into the top corner, giving Ireland shot-stopper Nick Judge no chance. Moran was on target in the 60th minute, this time collecting the ball on the right of the circle to dispatch a low shot to put Scotland 3-1 up. Ireland hit back immediately through Harry Morris, but Scottish determination to see out the match ensured a winning start for the home side.

In game two, Ben O’Grady opened the scoring in the 15th minute, his drag-flick deflected past Scottish shot-stopper Seth van Rensburg to put the visitors 1-0 up. Three minutes before the break, Luke Adams doubled the away side’s advantage, cutting inside the Scottish defence to beat Rensburg at the near post.

Two goals inside four second half minutes put Ireland out of sight; Harry Dow and Fergus Gibson’s field goals making it 4-0. The Scots managed to find a consolation three minutes before full-time, Fraser Moran scoring with an exquisite drag-flick.

On Sunday, two penalty corner goals from Fraser Moran gave Scotland a 2-0 win. Moran was on target right on the stroke of half-time, dispatching a fierce drag-flick into the bottom left hand corner to put the home side 1-0 up.

Five minutes after half-time, Moran executed a carbon copy drag-flick to put Scotland 2-0 up, much to the delight of the home support. The Western Wildcats forward narrowly missed out on a hat-trick, his penalty flick striking the post.

Friday: Ireland 2 (L Adams, H Morris) Scotland 3 (F Moran 2, J Tweedie)
Saturday: Ireland 4 (B O’Grady, L Adams, H Dow, F Gibson) Scotland 1 (F Moran)
Sunday: Ireland 0 Scotland 2 (F Moran 2)

Under-16 Girls
In game one, ireland took the lead in the 19th minute when Natasha Twomey was afforded acres of space at the back post to slip the ball past Scotland ‘keeper Rachel Strachan. Milly Merry put the Scots back on level terms in the 27th minute with a well-taken field goal.

Merry was on the mark again a minute later, coasting into the box and shooting the ball high into the net. Niamh Shaw puts the away side back on parity shortly after from a penalty corner. With the two sides locked at 2-2 at half-time, it was the home side who grapsed the mettle, Emily Dark sweetly striking the ball low into the net from a penalty corner.

However, a Yasmin Pratt finish from close range in the 50th minute levelled up the scores at 3-3. Both sides were unable to trouble the scorers for the remainder of the match.

In game two, a close, scrappy encounter between Scotland and Ireland was eventually settled by a late goal from the home side’s Emily Dark. The Dundee Wanderers’ youngster transferred the ball onto the reverse and struck the ball sweetly into the bottom right hand corner in the 64th minute to give the Scots a 1-0 win.

Scotland ‘keeper Iona Colquhoun had come to her team’s rescue earlier in the match, diving low to save an Irish penalty flick.

The series was shared after a 2-0 for the Irish in game three, two goals in three minutes by Caoimhe Perdue – in the 43rd and 48th minute – were the difference between the two sides.

Friday: Ireland 3 (N Shaw, N Twomey, Y Pratt) Scotland 3 (M Merry 2, E Dark)
Saturday: Ireland 0 Scotland 1 (E Dark)
Sunday: Ireland 2 (C Perdue 2) Scotland 0

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