Limerick forward Seán McSweeney put the Irish Schools Under-18s ahead but they ultimately fell to a 3-2 defeat by a Republic of Ireland Under-17 selection in a friendly at the AUL Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
McSweeney – who netted the winner for Limerick in their league outing against UCD at the venue just three days earlier – was the sole Superblue on show in Paddy O’Reilly’s squad and he was handed a start.
The Schools, though, got off to the worst possible start when Seán Whelan won a first-minute penalty which was converted by Gerry McDonagh.
But the match was soon level, in the sixth minute, when McSweeney set up the chance. Cork City striker Connor Ellis showed great movement for it and found himself with just ‘keeper Tom McDermott to beat, and he finished with aplomb.
The Schools then hit the front on 22 minutes when Troy Carey – who had played against Limerick at the weekend – produced an excellent cross for McSweeney who reacted quickly to fire in after his initial effort was saved.
Three minutes later, Ellis showed his threat once more when he struck an upright with a shot on the turn after good work by Evan Osam.
Anthony Scully was unlucky not to level for the Under-17s in the 37th minute when he cut in from the left and hit a superb effort from edge of box which rattled the crossbar.
The second half saw a host of changes and Saint Patrick’s Athletic winger James Doona showed his quality with two goals to swing the game in the favour of Tom Mohan’s side.
Doona found the net in the 57th minute when he cut in from the left before unleashing a strike from distance which took a deflection to wrong-foot the ‘keeper and level matters.
Five minutes from time, Doona produced another thumping long-range strike and there was no deflection this time as the ball flew into the top corner of the Schools net.
Mohan will utilise another selection of players – including Limerick defender Killian Brouder – against Bohemians Under-19s at the same venue on Thursday evening, kick-off 6pm.
Meanwhile, the Schools face Australia next Monday at Whitehall, kick-off 2pm, although no Limerick players have been included in that squad.
Republic of Ireland Under-17s: Tom McDermott, Robin Walsh, Conor Kane, Shane Hanney, Darragh Leahy, Anthony Scully, Seán Whelan, Leo Donnellan, Dylan Grimes, Gerry McDonagh, Conor Davis. Subs: Mathieu Gadet, Darragh Gibbons, James Doona.
Republic of Ireland Under-18 Schools: David Coffey, Tony Archibold, Evan Osam, Dan Tobin, Cian Coleman, Troy Carey, Ethan Boyle, Dylan Watts, Seán McSweeney, Daire O’Connor, Connor Ellis. Subs: Corey Chambers, Lee McCarron, Nathan Benson, Conor McCarthy, Paul Murphy, Antaine Ó’Laoi, Aaron Robinson, Georgie Poynton, Darragh Markey, Oisín Hassett, Jamie Aherne, Conor Buckley, Conor Melody.
Report Date: Tuesday 20 January 2015
Details thanks to FAI.ie.