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Ireland V Finland Womens Friendlies

The Irish Women’s Under 19 squad recorded an impressive 3-2 victory over Finland in Richmond Park on Friday night

This match was the first of a double header of friendlies against Finland, which formed part of the preparation for the Irish squad’s participation in Phase 1 of the 2005/2006 UEFA Women’s U19 Championships in Estonia next month.

It was always expected that the Finns would prove tough opposition, particularly since they finished in the top four of the 2004/05 competition played in Hungary last month. On the night, however, the Irish team were full value for their win with some fine play particularly from the emerging younger players in the squad.

The starting eleven contained nine players who had previously appeared at this level for Ireland in the course of last year’s competition. The two newcomers were Paula Murray from Kells and Carla Mulligan from Stockport County. Murray made a dramatic impact on the game scoring the opening goal after five minutes of play with a stunning strike from twenty yards out. This was cancelled out two minutes later by Hartikainen from Finland. On 35 minutes, Sara Lawlor, who worked tirelessly over the course of the match, put the Irish team ahead once again before the half time break.

Manager Susan Ronan introduced four substitutes at the beginning of the second half, giving debuts to Meabh de Burca, Grace Murray, Jennifer Cook and Aine O’Gorman. The Finns had the better of the opening exchanges, capitalising on a defensive error to equalise in the 48th minute. Despite this setback, however, the Irish settled well and dominated possession for most of the half. They got their reward in the 67th minute when substitute Stephanie Roche (another debutante) scored from an acute angle.

Irish Squad: Aine Genockey (Shamrock Rovers), Seana Cooke (Raheny), Niamh Fahey (Salthill Devon), Eilis Nevin (Dundalk City), Kylie Murphy (Parkville), Nicola Sinnott (Ballagh), Clara Mulligan (Stockport County), Sarah McGrath (Peamount), Sara Lawlor (Peamount), Susan Donovan (Ballincollig), Paula Murray (Kells)

Subs used: Jennifer Cook (Marlay Rangers) for Genockey (45’); Meabh de Burca (Salthill Devon) for Mulligan (45’); Aine O’Gorman (Stella Maris) for Donovan (45’); Grace Murray (Dundalk City) for Murphy (45’); Diane Caldwell (Raheny Utd) for Cooke (50); Aoife Herbert (Ballina Town) for Murray (58’); Stephanie Roche (Stella Maris) for Lawlor (61)

Ireland v Finland, Sunday 21st August 2005, AUL (ko 10.00am)

Result: Ireland 0-2 Finland

The Finnish team, having been on the back foot for most of the match on Friday night, earned their revenge with a two nil victory over the Irish at Clonshaugh this morning. Both goals were scored from set play in the first quarter of an hour. And it really was only after the second goal that the Irish team settled into the match.

The Finns worked hard to keep possession and moved the ball well around the park. Showing a physical presence that had been lacking on Friday they dominated proceedings for much of the first half. The second half saw the Irish team press hard to some good effect with chances for Grace Murray, Sara Lawlor and Noelle Murray to score. Despite their efforts, however, the Finnish goalkeeper was not really troubled and the match finished 0-2 in favour of the Finns.

The Irish team Manager, Susan Ronan was disappointed at the result but said that the two matches had proved very worthwhile preparation for the tournament in Estonia.

Irish Squad: Irish Squad: Aine Genockey (Shamrock Rovers), Seana Cooke (Raheny), Grace Murraly (Dundalk City), Eilis Nevin (Dundalk City), Aisling Egan (Bealnamulla), Clara Mulligan (Stockport County), Sarah McGrath (Peamount), Meabh de Burca (Salthill Devon) Sara Lawlor (Peamount), Aine O’Gorman (Stella Maris), Paula Murray (Kells)

Subs used: Laura Traynor (Shamrock Rovers) for O’Gorman (45’); Nicola Sinnott (Ballagh) for Mulligan (45’); Jennifer Critchley (Lifford) for de Burca (45’); Diane Caldwell (Raheny Utd) for Murray (45’); Kylie Murphy for Cooke (45’); Stephanie Roche (Stella Maris) for McGrath (60’); Mary Barrett (Douglas Hall) for Murray (75’); Noelle Murray (St Anthonys) for Lawlor (75’); Lynn Marie Grant (Lifford) for Egan (84’)


Teams: Republic of Ireland U19, Finland U19
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