and Domestic News Round-up
Our Under 21 side commenced preparation for their 2019 European
Championship Qualifying contest with Azerbaijan when they faced Iceland in
a friendly international at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday the 22nd March 2018.
Despite being without Declan Rice and Kieran O'Hara, both on duty with the
senior side in Turkey, and missing a number of other regulars who were on
club duty, Noel King's charges secured an excellent three one victory, with
the goals coming from Ryan Manning, Rory Hale and his brother Ronan Hale.
The crucial UEFA Qualifier against Azerbaijan then took place in Tallaght on Tuesday the 27th March 2018. Despite dominating possession against the hugely defensive opposition, we did not secure the crucial winning goal until the ninth minute of stoppage time when defender Shaun Donnellan prodded home following an excellent Ryan Manning free kick.
There is now a lengthy break before the September 2018 double header away to Kosova on Friday the 7th September and home to Germany on Tuesday the 11th September. We will complete our qualifying campaign with an away double header the following month, travelling to Israel on Thursday the 11th October followed by a visit to Germany on Tuesday the 16th October 2018.
Head Coach Tom Mohan led his twenty player squad to the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship which was hosted by Portugal. Ireland opened their campaign on the 21st March in Braga with a disappointing one all draw against Slovakia where Brighton & Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot. We then defeated Kosova in Vile do Conde by three goals to nil with Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Lee O'Connor (Manchester United) and Rowan Roache (Blackpool) finding the net. Our final match against hosts Portugal in Barcelos ended in bitter disappointment as we succumbed to a crushing four nil defeat to exit the competition.
Our U18 non-competitive side faced Wales in two friendly encounters at Tramore FC in Waterford on the 20th and the 22nd February 2018. The first contest ended scoreless while the visitors prevailed by two goals to nil in the second encounter. Head Coach Jim Crawford and his squad then contested another double header with visitors Romania defeated by two goals to one at Home Farm FC on Sunday the 25th March before going down to the only goal on Tuesday the 27th March 2018, again at Home Farm FC. The goal scorers in the initial success were Conor Tee of Leicester City and Cieran Dunne of Falkirk.
Head Coach Colin O'Brien and his U17 squad are through to the 2018 European Championship Finals following their success in topping Group Three at the Elite Qualifying Stage hosted by Poland. Ireland commenced their challenge with a three nil victory over FYR Macedonia in Glogow on Wednesday the 21st March with the goals scored by Adam Idah (Norwich City), Sean Brennan (Southampton) and Tyriek Wright (Aston Villa). The second match against Georgia ended in a two nil success at the same venue on Saturday the 24th March with Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur) and Brennan the goal scorers. The concluding match against the hosts Poland took place in Legnica on Tuesday the 27th March 2018 with a Parrott goal securing a one nil victory.
The Championship Finals will be hosted by England in May with Ireland drawn in Group C alongside Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium and Denmark. Ireland commence their Finals challenge against Belgium at 5.45pm on Saturday the 5th May at Loughborough University. They then meet Denmark at 1pm on Tuesday the 8th May at St George's Park, the England National Training Centte before returning to the same venue on Friday the 11th May where they will face Bosnia & Herzegovina again at 1pm.
Head Coach Paul Osam recently took an eighteen player squad to Budapest where they faced hosts Hungary in two friendly contests. Ireland suffered a three two reversal in the opening match with our goals coming from Matt Everitt of Brighton & Hove Albion and St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Brandon Holt. The second meeting proved bitterly disappointing with Ireland going down to a comprehensive four nil defeat. Ireland returned to winning ways with a two nil success over visitors Bulgaria in the RSC Waterford on Wednesday the 18th April with the goals scored by Sean Kennedy and Luke Turner.
Head Coach Jason Donohue named an eighteen player squad for two friendly contests with Cyprus earlier this month. Ireland secured a two nil success in the opening encounter played in Oriel Park, Dundalk on Tuesday the 6th March with the goals scored by Anselmo Garcia McNulty of Real Betis and Oran Crowe of Cork City. The second contest, played at the AUL Complex in Dublin, produced another two nil success with the goals coming from Louie Barry of West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough striker Calum Kavanagh, son of former senior international Graham Kavanagh. We then took on the Czech Republic in another home double header on the 16th and 18th April 2018 with the opening encounter ending in a two all draw with our goals coming from Sami Clarke and Oran Crowe. We secured a two one success in the the second contest with the goals scored by Oisin Hand and Crowe again.
Our senior women, guided by Head Coach Colin Bell, continued their 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign with a two one victory over Slovakia before a crowd of 3,521 in Tallaght Stadium on Friday the 6th April. Our goals were scored by Leanne Kiernan and Amber Barrett. Four days later, an attendance of 4.047 watched European Champions Holland provide the opposition in Tallaght Stadium, where Ireland went down to a two nil defeat. After five matches, Ireland trail leaders Holland by three points with the double header against third place Norway on the 8th and 12th June crucial to our hopes of retaining that second place and securing one of the play-off places.
Our U19 Women were on home soil in Turner's Cross, Cork for the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship but suffered bitter disappointment with their opening one all draw with Austria on Monday the 2nd April followed by three nil and two nil defeats by Spain and Turkey on April the 5th and 8th respectively.
The draw for the preliminary stage of the 2019 Championship will see Ireland contest Group Eight with the Faroe Islands, Ukraine and mini-tournament hosts Lithuania from the 2nd to the 8th October 2018.
Our U17 Women contested the Elite Stage of the 2018 European Championship alongside Azerbaijan, Iceland and Group Seven mini-tournament hosts Germany. We went down to a two one defeat by Iceland on Thursday the 22nd March followed by a one nil victory over Azerbaijan on Sunday the 25th March before exiting the competition following a two nil defeat by hosts Germany on Wednesday the 28th March.
The draw for
the preliminary stage of the 2019 Championship has also been made and we will
contest Group Seven with Albania, Wales and mini-tournament hosts Serbia from
the 22nd to the 28th October 2018.
Our Schools International side are 2018 Centenary Shield Champions. We kicked-off our challenge with a two one away victory over Wales at Cefn Druids FC on Thursday the 15th February 2018. We next travelled to meet England on Friday the 16th March and secured a scoreless draw at Kenilworth Road, home of Luton Town FC. There then followed another scoreless draw with Northern Ireland at Monaghan United FC on Thursday the 29th March 2018 before our three one success in our final contest against Scotland at Home Farm FC on Thursday the 12th April 2018 enabled us to top the Group.FAI Airtricity League
Following the opening thirteen sets of fixtures in the 2018 Airtricity League Premier Division season, defending champions Cork City lead Dundalk by three points while Waterford are a further three points back in third position.
After fixture series nine In the First Division, UCD lead the way by four points from Drogheda United with Shelbourne a further point back in third position.