Friendly win for Republic of Ireland WU17 side in Ballymena
The Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 side began their new season with a 2-0 win over their Northern Ireland counterparts in Ballymena.
This age group is now coached David Bell and the Irish boss was pleased with the performance his new charges produced. The fixture was arranged to launch the famous Northern Ireland Milk Cup which will feature female teams for the first time next year.
Tiegan Ruddy put Bell’s side ahead in the 55th minute when she turned the ball home after getting in front of her marker to steer home from a Lauryn O’Callaghan free-kick.
Niamh Sheehan added the second Irish goal two minutes from time when she found the net after an excellent passing move by the visitors.
“I was very pleased with the overall performance. The first 20 minutes was really good from us and in fairness for the latter part of the first half Northern Ireland had a few chances and our keeper Sophie Lenihan was very good,” said Bell.
“We’d only one day together ahead of this match and were using a completely new team so I’m delighted for them. There’s a lot of work to be done for all of them but it’s a good start.
“Next up for us is that we play Scotland in September in a double-header so we will have more time with them then.
“What we worked on was basic movements and build-up from throws, free-kicks and the general discipline. They made some mistakes and that will happen with young players.
“I was pleased that we got all 20 players involved in the game. I know a few from last season such as Saoirse Noonan who is captain this year after being one of the stars last year. Hopefully she can help get the girls understand the level and help us through qualifiers in Turkey in October.
“We hope to do a few training days before Scotland to evaluate a few more players and hopefully we get the mix right going into those games. They’ll be important in our development as a team this year.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Sophie Lenihan (Ballindaggin United FC), Eimear Kiely (Lakewood), Zoe Green (Lagan Harps), Leah Reybet-Degat (Shelbourne Girls FC), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Alexandra Kavanagh (Shelbourne Girls FC), Saoirse Noonan (Douglas Hall), Heather Payne (Salthill Devon), Lauryn O’Callaghan (Peamount United), Tiegan Ruddy (Peamount United).
Subs: Caoimhe Walsh (Lagan Harps) for Payne 55 mins, Lauren Kelly (Peamount United) for Kiernan 55, Niamh Sheehan (St Joseph’s FC) for Kiely 55, Naoise McAloon (Peamount United) for 60, Rachel Baynes (Castlebar Celtic) for Reybet-Degat 60, Lauren Homan (Lakewood) for Ruddy 60, Nicole Plunkett (Shelbourne Girls FC) for Farrelly 66, Tara O’Gorman (Douglas Hall) for Kavanagh 66, Jade Reddy (Shelbourne Girls FC) for O’Callaghan 66. Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Girls FC).
Women’s U17 Friendly International
Northern Ireland 0-2 Republic of Ireland, Showgrounds, Ballymena
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