and Domestic News Round-up
There has now been a lengthy break before the 2019 European Championship qualifiers resume in September 2018 with a 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.
The draw for the preliminary stage of the 2019 U19 Championship sees Ireland set to contest Group Ten with top seeds Holland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Faroe Islands. Ireland will host the qualifying mini-tournament between the 10th and 16th October 2018, with the top two sides progressing to the Elite Stage.
The 2018 European Championship Finals were hosted by England in May with Ireland drawn in Group C alongside Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium and Denmark. Ireland commenced their Finals challenge with a disappointing two nil defeat by Belgium at Loughborough University on Saturday the 5th May. They then met Denmark on Tuesday the 8th May at St George's Park, the England National Training Centre and secured a one nil victory with a Troy Parrott goal before returning to the same venue on Friday the 11th May where goals from Parrott again and Adam Idah secured a two nil victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina and earned progress to the quarter-final knock-out stage. Ireland then provided an excellent challenge to tournament favourites and eventual winners Holland and were disappointed to exit the competition with a five four penalty shoot-out reversal following a one all draw where Tottenham Hotspur striker Troy Parrott was again the Irish goalscorer.
Head Coach Colin O'Brien and his management team are readying themselves for the Finals of the 2019 European Championship, which will be hosted by Ireland. With the hosts automatically qualifying for the finals which are set for July 2019, Irish preparation will be based on a series of friendly encounters.
Head Coach Paul Osam took a squad of twenty to Sweden where they participated in a Quadrangular Development Tournament. A two nil defeat by hosts Sweden on Friday the 18th May was followed by a three nil reversal to Austria two days later. The final contest with Turkey ended in a one all draw with Ireland successful in the penalty shoot-out by five goals to three.
Despite a valiant effort our senior women, guided by Head Coach Colin Bell, were unable to maintain their challenge for World Cup Finals qualification when they suffered defeat in both contests with top seeds Norway on the 8th and 12th June 2018. The home contest played in Tallaght stadium ended in a two nil defeat and was followed four days later by a one nil reversal in Stavanger. We complete our campaign with a home contest against Northern Ireland in Tallaght Stadium on Friday the 31st August at 7.30pm.
The draw for the preliminary stage of the 2019 Women's U19 Championship sees Ireland set to contest Group Eight with the Faroe Islands, Ukraine and mini-tournament hosts Lithuania from the 2nd to the 8th October 2018.
In preparation for the qualifiers, our squad travelled to Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate in York where they participated in a Triangular Tournament with Northern Ireland, with whom they drew one each on Saturday the 14th July, and hosts England to whom they went down to a two nil deferat on Wednesday the 18th July.
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 U16 women
travelled to Sweden in mid May where they took part in a Quadrangular Development
Tournament. An opening one nil defeat by hosts Sweden was followed with a
scoreless draw against Austria two days later but we lost the penalty shoot-out
by three goals to two. We completed the tournament with a one nil victory
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.
Airtricity League Clubs in Europe
2017 Airtricity League champions Cork City commenced their UEFA Champions League campaign with a one nil defeat by Legia Warsaw of Poland in the Preliminary Round first leg played in Turner's Cross on Tuesday the 10th July followed by a two nil defeat in the second leg played in Warsaw on Tuesday the 17th July. The 'Leesiders' now drop into the UEFA Europa League Third Round where they will play the losers of the Champions League contest between Glasgow Celtic and Rosenborg (Norway), with the Scandanavian side the likely opponents following their three one defeat by the Scottish Champions in the first leg of their tie.
In the First Qualifying Round of the Europa League, Dundalk travelled to Estonia where they secured a one nil advantage over Levadia Tallinn courtesy of a second half goal from Dylan Connolly. the second leg was played at Oriel Park on Thursday the 19th July and the 'Lilywhites' secured a two one victory courtesy of goals from Michael Duffy and Patrick Hoban. Dundalk then played out a scoreless draw with AEK Larnaca (Cyprus) in the home first leg of the second round and travel to Cyprus for the second leg on Thursday the 2nd August, where a score draw would ensure progression to the next round where the winners of the Ajax (Holland)/Sturm Graz (Austria) tie would provide the opposition.
In the same competition, Derry City suffered a two nil defeat at home to Dinamo Minsk from Belarus in their first leg but put in a valiant away effort to secure a two one victory but it was just not enough. Shamrock Rovers went down to a one nil first leg defeat by visitors AIK of Sweden in Tallaght Stadium but took the tie to extra-time by scoring the equalising goal over ninety minutes in Solna. Fortune did not favour the 'Hoops' as the hosts scored the only goal in extra-time to progress to the next stage.FAI Airtricity League
With twenty seven of the thirty six fixtures completed in the 2018 Airtricity League Premier Division season, the title appears to rest between defending champions Cork City and current leaders Dundalk, whom they trail by one point, but the 'Lilywhites' do have a match in hand. Waterford are a further twenty points back in third position, one point ahead of fourth place Shamrock Rovers.
After fixture series twenty two in the First Division, UCD are seven points clear of the chasing pack, where just six points separate five club, with Drogheda United and Finn Harps pursued by Shelbourne, Galway United and Longford Town.EA Sports Cup
The quarter-finals of the 2018 EA Sports Cup saw Derry City crush Shelbourne by seven goals to three, Cobh Ramblers overcome Longford Town by two goals to nil, Dundalk defeat Bohemian by three goals to nil and Sligo Rovers score the only goal to eliminate Waterford. The semi-finals are set for Monday the 6th August with Cobh Ramblers hosting Dundalk and Sligo Rovers at home to Derry City.Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup
The first round of the 2018 Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup is set for the weekend of Sunday the 12th August with round two scheduled for two weeks later. The first round draw involving the twenty league clubs and twelve non-league qualifiers was interesting in that no all Premier Division contest emerged. Non league sides Blarney United, Cockhill Celtic and Skerries Town will be seeking to create the traditional shock when they host Premier Division Derry City, Limerick and Waterford respectively. Fellow non-league outfit Inchicore Athletic will also relish the opportunity to lock horns with local Premier Division side St Patrick's Athletic while the meeting of non-league sides Dublin Bus and CIE should produce some interesting fare!.