The Republic of Ireland Schools ran out 3-1 winners over Scotland in this Centenary Shield clash in Killarney on Thursday, but it was a night where Jesse Stafford-Lacey suffered an unfortunate first-half injury while Killian Brouder featured after the break.
Goals from Conor Kane, Ryan O’Donoghue and Jamie Aherne sealed the win by half-time even though Bradley Manson pulled one back late on for the visitors.
It was always going to be a tricky fixture for Paddy O’Reilly’s side, but quick counterattacking ensured Ireland took control early on. And they continued to improve as the game wore on.
In fact, there were only 12 minutes on the clock when Kane, representing Lucan CBS, opened the scoring with a cool finish and that set the tone for the attack-minded approach from the hosts.
Before the half-hour, Stafford-Lacey was forced off with a hamstring injury which could see him ruled out of action for between 4-6 weeks. Limerick FC teammate Brouder came off the bench ten minutes after the break.
Before that, on 42 minutes, O’Donoghue – from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Belmullet – broke free to blast in the second goal as Ireland maintained their dominance in the first period.
Just before the break, Confey College student Aherne added a third goal from the penalty spot and that advantage stayed intact all the way until the 73rd minute when Manson scored for Scotland.
The win was much deserved for Ireland and one that they can take a lot of confidence from due to their positive style of play and clinical finishing.
The Irish have one game remaining in the tournament – which England had already won prior to this match at Celtic Park. That is a trip to face Wales in Llandudno on Thursday 28 April, which Stafford-Lacey will now miss.
Republic of Ireland: Donnelly, Hanney, O’Donoghue (Delap HT), Gibbons, McCarthy (Brouder 55), Scales, Kane (Doherty HT), Stafford-Lacey (Morgan 27), Grimes (Doherty 63), Drinan, Aherne.
Scotland: Morton, McRitchie (McDonald HT), Kirkwood, Laing, Cook, Manson, Banner, Strachan (Smith 64), MacLeod (Kane HT), Koshoedo, Cunningham (Martin 76).
Report Date: Thursday 14 April 2016
Report details via FAI Press Release. Photo thanks to FAI Schools Twitter.