Manorhamilton's Muireann Devaney was a member of the Ireland U19 Ladies team who scored a 3-0 victory over neighbours Northern Ireland at the AUL Complex in Dublin on Wednesday.
The Athlone Town and former Manorhamilton Rangers star played for 70 minutes in the friendly international with the Girls in Green due to face Northern Ireland again this Friday in Belfast as they continue their preparations for the 2021/22 UEFA Women’s Under-19 European Championship qualifiers.
Two goals from Rebecca Watkins and a goal from substitute Teegán Lynch was enough to earn the victory and Ireland got off to the perfect start when Watkins fired past Rachael Norney and into the corner to give Dave Connell’s team the lead in the sixth minute.
Northern Ireland’s best chance came after 20 minutes when a mix-up at the back saw Katie Dickson shoot but Jessie Stapleton was put it behind for a corner. Thirty minutes into the half Aoife Horgan dribbled past a number of the Northern Irish players but after a quick exchange with Watkins, the Treaty United forward’s effort was gathered by the keeper.
Sauna Brennan saw her corner flash across the face of goal just before half-time as the Girls in Green went in at the break 1-0 up but 15 minutes into the second half, it was 2-0 when Watkins outpaced the defender before turning onto her left foot and unleashing a left footed effort into the top corner.
In the 75th minute it was 3-0. Aoibheann Clancy delivered a superb direct free-kick into the box and substitute Lynch, who had only come on minutes earlier for Muireann Devaney, was there to turn home with a close range volley.
Both sides are drawn in the same group along with England and Switzerland and speaking after the game, Head Coach Dave Connell said "The aim for this week was to build a solid foundation that would allow us to move forward over the next few months as we build to the qualifiers in October. We started that with a win today and hopefully we can continue that on Friday. We worked hard we scored three good goals - three different types of goals too - and I'm very pleased with the team's efforts."
Republic of Ireland: Auskalnyte (GK) (Glackin (GK) 46); O’Kane (Carr, 70), Brennan, Stapleton, Milner (Neville,57), Clancy, Horgan (Lynch, 70), Reynolds (Slattery, 57), Watkins, Devaney (Callanan, 70), Fitzpatrick (Corbett, 57).
Unused substitutes. N/A
Northern Ireland: Norney (GK) (Crooks 63) ; McMaster (McConnell, 46), Davis (Kennan, 63), Neal, Parker, Bell, McHenry, K. Dickson , Reily (Chambers 63), E-M. Dickson (Johnston, 46), Morgan (Halliday, 46).
Unused substitutes: Tweedle, Montgomery, Boyle,Marke, Rodgers
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