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Ireland win Centenary Shield with impressive 3-1 success over Scotland

Ireland 3

Regba 6, 28, Kerrigan 16

Scotland 1

Fell 63
  • Thursday, 12 April 2018
  • Whitehall Stadium
  • Under 18´s
  • Centenary Shield

A storming first-half performance from Ireland was enough to secure them the Centenary Shield as they beat Scotland 3-1 at Home Park FC'S Whitehall Stadium.

A first-half blitz saw a double from Ali Regba sandwiched a terrific Liam Kerrigan strike to send Ireland in 3-0 in front at the break. It was a spirited and, at times, dominant second-half performance from Scotland, but they could only reply though a Nathan Fell header midway through the half.

Ireland came into the game knowing only a win would see them take the competition, whilst Scotland had previously kept two clean sheets out of their 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland and 2-0 victory in England.

However, their clean sheet record was up after just six minutes. Despite a positive start by Scotland, Ireland scored with their first chance as Jack Ryan played a lovely through ball for Regba to latch onto and slot past Fraser Currid.

Ronan Manning was really controlling the midfield after the opener, and any early flashes from Scotland were quickly put out, as the hosts dictated proceedings.

Kerrigan had already shown what he was capable of when his movement almost got on the end of another Ryan through ball, but it wasn't long before he truly made his mark.

Collecting the ball down the right hand side, there didn't look to be a lot on for the young striker. However, he cut onto his right foot and, after holding off pressure from Jack McDowall, he lashed home a superb left-footed effort into the top right-hand corner of Currid's net.

Cian Murphy, Daryl Walsh, and Mannigan all had chances to add to Ireland's tally, as Scotland struggled to defend crosses into their area.

The young Scots didn't heed the warnings though, and Ireland made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark when Ryan again fed Regba to slot home.

Scotland were often looking at Daniel Mackay to take the game to Ireland, but credit must go to Kieran Farren for how he marshalled the left-winger in the first 45.

It was by no means an ideal half for the Scots, who failed to create any real chances of note in the opening 45. For Ireland, it was the dream opening half.

  • Half Time:
  • Ireland
  • 3-0
  • Scotland

A trio of substitutions were made by Scotland as Sean Fagan, Nathan Fell, and Kieran Chalmer were all introduced.

The substitutes ignited a terrific second-half display by the Scots, who came out of the traps quickly and had a notieably bigger bite in the centre of midfield through Chalmer.

Scotland's passing was suddenly crisper, and within three minutes they had the chance to pull one back from the spot. McKay was sent away down the left, and after darting past Manning before the Irishman took him down. Cameron Clark stepped up to take the spot-kick, but it was well stopped by Daniel Houghton.

Despite the set-back, Scotland never allowed it to hold them back as they continued to be aggressive in the midfield. Fell added some real pace down the right as he threatened to ignite a fightback, but chances were still fairly few and far between.

Ireland still showed sings of what they're capable of on the counter. Kerrigan twice looked to get on the end of crosses, but he couldn't get a clean connection on either as Scotland held firm.

The Scots were moving the ball around with pace however, and got the goal they deserved on 63 minutes. The increasingly impressive Mackay switched the ball to McKeown, who sent a deep cross into the box back towards Mackay. The young winger showed great awareness to send a header back across goal for Fell to net from close range.

Other than a miss-timed Adam Rooney header for Ireland, Scotland were the side on top and really taking the game to the hosts. Chalmer was incredibly industrious in the midfield, winning many of the 50-50's that were up for grabs and really swinging this game back into Scotland's favour.

Mackay controlled a long ball with terrific ease before lashing a low effort wide, whilst McKeown sent a low driven effort in on goal when a cross would've been the better option, as Houghton gathered confidently.

The versatile Mackay went into the striking role for the final 10 minutes, and headed a half-chance over after good build-up down the left-hand side. However, time was running out for a young Scotland side well on top in the second half.

The game seemed to be petering out nicely for the hosts, and they nearly added to their tally late on when Kerrigan smashed the bar from around eight yards out.

Scotland huffed and puffed towards the death, but couldn't break Ireland down again as the hosts took the Shield and left the young Scots crestfallen.

  • Full Time:
  • Ireland
  • 3-1
  • Scotland

Lineups

Ireland
Scotland
1. Luke McNicholas
2. Adam O'Connor
3. Peter Adigun
4. Jake Walker
5. Adam Rooney
6. Rory Doyle
7. Ali Regba
8. Kieran Farren
9. Cian Murphy
10. Cian Lee
11. Jack Ryan
12. Lido Lotefa
13. Colm Whelan
14. Daryl Walsh
16. Daniel Houghton
17. Liam Kerrigan
19. Ronan Manning
1. Fraser Currid
2. Aiden McKeown
3. Cameron Clark
4. Nathan Brown
5. Jack McDowall
6. Declan Walsh
7. Sam Walker
8. Reece Rintoul
9. Gavin Scott
10. Jack Hodge
11. Daniel Mackay
12. Elliott Anderson
13. Sean Fagan
14. Gavin Watt
15. Aiden Kemp
16. Kieran Chalmer
17. Nathan Fell
18. Seaon Fean
19. Ben Harwood
Star Player
Ireland
Scotland
Ali Regba - A two-goal show from Regba put this game beyond Scotland. Both goals were extremely similar in how he collected two inch-perfect passes from Ryan, before using his strength and skill to hold onto the ball and slot home.
Daniel Mackay - The first half was a tricky period for the young left-winger. He was always Scotland's main source of inspiration and gave it his all, but in the second 45 he had a new lease of life and thrived on the energy Scotland put into the game. A tireless display from a talented young Scot.
Magic Moment
Ireland
Scotland
Ireland's second goal was a moment of real magic from Kerrigan. Cutting inside he showed good footwork and composure. However, his shot after doing so was simply sensational - carrying so much power and almost bursting the top corner of the net at Whitehall.
Scotland's goal wasn't scrappy - it was a moment of genuine quality. Mackay was at the heart of it when he switched play. However, the cross from McKeown was sensational, whilst Mackay showed good awareness to find Fell, who had the easy job of finishing. It was a lovely team-goal that was deserved at that moment in the game.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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