UEFA under-19 European Championship Qualifier Report: Republic of Ireland 2-0 Northern IrelandWed, Oct 27 2021
Michael Cooke Reports from the Markets Field
The Republic of Ireland Women’s under-19 side kept alive their chances of qualifying for next summer’s European Championships following a 2-0 victory over Northern Ireland at the Markets Field today.
Goals in each half from Ellen Molloy and Jessie Stapleton proved decisive as Dave Connell’s side ended a run of two straight defeats.
Molloy was Ireland’s main goal scoring threat throughout. The Wexford Youths player caused consternation among the visitor’s defence on numerous occasions.
She had two chances inside the first half-hour alone, firstly shooting over the crossbar before being denied by Lilie Woods for her second attempt.
Her second shot followed a dazzling run which saw her dance through the visitor’s defence and her subsequent effort was deflected out for a corner which amounted to nothing.
On 27 minutes Molloy was again the focal point of the Irish attack. Despite being tackled by Tierna Bell, the ball broke to Rebecca Watkins whose shot was saved by Woods.
Molloy eventually broke the deadlock on 35 minutes with a moment of sheer individual brilliance, a spectacular strike notwithstanding some questionable goalkeeping.
She completely outmanoeuvred Abbie McHenry before unleashing a powerful 25 yard shot which flew past Woods at the near post putting the Republic of Ireland a goal up at half-time.
Molloy was equally as threatening in the second half and she was the main architect of Ireland’s second goal on 63 minutes.
She was brought down inside the box and a penalty was awarded without any hesitation. Jessie Stapleton confidently converted the spot kick.
Treaty United’s Jenna Slattery was brought on as a substitute on 65 minutes and her introduction was greeted by a cacophony of applause from her hometown supporters.
Four minutes later, Slattery and her clubmate Aoife Horgan almost gave the Limerick faithful something to shout about, the former heading the latter’s cross over the bar.
Three minutes into injury time, Slattery tried her luck again from 20 yards only to be denied by Woods but nonetheless Ireland held on for a 2-0 victory.
The result sees Ireland remain in league A for the second phase of European qualifiers which take place next year.
Northern Ireland have officially exited the race for qualification following three defeats from as many games resulting in demotion to league B.
Republic of Ireland: Rugile Auskalnyte; Therese Kinnevey, Della Doherty ©, Jessie Stapleton, Shauna Brennan; Aoife Horgan (75 Nicole McNamara), Muireann Devaney (75 Eva Mangan), Ellen Molloy, Maria Reynolds, Teegán Lynch (65 Erin McLaughlin); Rebecca Watkins (65 Jenna Slattery).
Subs not used: Savanna Duffy, Kate Slevin, Kerryanne Brown, Emma Bucci, Melissa O’Kane
Northern Ireland: Lilie Woods; Sarah Kane McMaster, Shona Davis, Fionnuala Morgan ©, Ella Haughey; Abbie McHenry, Tierna Bell, Grace McKimm; Darcy Boyle, Cora Chambers (75 Eve Reilly), Kathryn Dickson.
Subs not used: Rachael Norney, Cara Mervyn, Mia Little, Zoe Rodgers, Erin McGreevy, Helen Parker, Ellie-Mae Dickson, Eve Reilly, Erin Montgomery
Referee: Marina Zivkovic
Player of the Match: Ellen Molloy (Republic of Ireland)