Irish WU19 draw with Scots for second time

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland

The Republic of Ireland Women’s U19 side were held to a 1-1 draw with their Scottish counterparts in an entertaining friendly game at Tulla United AFC in Co Clare today.

It was a similar score-line when the sides met on Tuesday in Listowel as each sides prepares for their campaign ahead.

A first half goal from captain Savannah McCarthy put the Irish level after they fell behind early on. The Scots had a player sent-off in the first half but the home side could not use the extra player to their advantage.

The visitors almost grabbed a gift opener in the fourth minute when a clearance by keeper Nadine Maher landed at the feet of Abigail Harrison and her effort was scrambled clear by Clare native Chloe Moloney.

Maher showed her quality with an impressive save to deny Carle Boyce in the 11th minute but Scotland took the lead just 60 seconds later when Erin Cuthbert found the net with a free-kick which flew into the top corner of Maher’s goal. The free was awarded for a hand-ball by McCarthy.

Ireland had a number of half-chances as they worked their way back into the game with Niamh Nelson denied by a defender’s block in the 23rd minute while Rachel McLauchlan had an effort just off target for the Scots in the 28th minute.

The Scots suffered a blow in the 29th minute when they had Courtney Whyte sent off after Zoe McGlynn was fouled as she burst through on goal.

Jamie Finn had a header narrowly over from a McGlynn corner in the 33rd minute before Ireland levelled when McCarthy headed to the Scottish net in the 35th minute following another McGlynn corner kick.

Maher denied Harrison once more in the 38th minute with another solid stop while Rachel Kearns fired over from close range in the 54th minute.

McCarthy was unlucky not to add a second goal in the 74th minute when she headed at the keeper following another Irish corner.

Five minutes later excellent Irish play saw Sarah-Jane McDonald supply Kearns but the Irish attacker could not take advantage of the opportunity.

McLauchlan came closing to grabbing a winner for the Scots in the 89th minute when she glided past two Irish defenders putted dragged her shot narrowly wide.

The Irish continue their preparations for the forthcoming UEFA WU19 Championships qualifying round with a friendly against Northern Ireland at the AUL Complex on Wednesday, August 26 (5.00pm).

“We could have done a lot better performance wise but there were some young players who got game time here. It’s been a good exercise overall when you take in the two games,” said Irish WU19 Head Coach Dave Connell.

“The free-kick they scored from was harsh but we worked hard and deserved to equalise. Overall I felt we could have passed it better but there’s room for improvement and it’s been good to get together.

“We had nine players unavailable or injured and it gave me an opportunity to look at a few players. A few stepped up but some still have more to offer so hopefully they can show that against Northern Ireland next week.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Nadine Maher, Fiona Donnelly, Chloe Moloney, Savannah McCarthy, Evelyn Daly, Zoe McGlynn, Jamie Finn, Niamh Nelson, Dearbhaile Beirne, Lucy McCartan, Emma Byrne. Subs: Ellie-Rose O’Flaherty for McGlynn 50, Rachel Kearns for Beirne 50, Sophie Watters for Byrne 60, Lucy McCartan for Nelson 60, Sarah Jane McDonald for Donnelly 65, Nicole Gordon for Daly 82, Lauren Kealy for Beirne 82.

SCOTLAND: Laura Hamilton, Cailin Michie, Cassie Cowper, Courtney Whyte, Georgie Rafferty, Chelsea Cornet, Rachel McLauchlan, Erin Cuthbert, Carla Boyce, Abigail Harrison, Claire Adams Mullen. Subs: Sarah Clelland for Harrison 82, Lia Tweedle for McLauchlan 88.

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