After an impressive win over England and a hard fought draw against the Netherlands, the Irish U-17 team, featuring Mohill’s Dearbhaile Beirne finished their three game elite qualifying phase fixtures with a 0-0 draw against Hungary in Turner’s Cross, Cork.
The Irish must now wait for the culmination of all other groups, today (Wednesday) before discovering if they have done enough to secure a qualifying spot as the best second placed team.
The four team Elite Qualifying Phase group saw Ireland, England, Netherlands and Hungary do battle in Cork with a place in this summer’s finals in Iceland at stake for the group winner.
England were the first opposition and first half goals from Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Saoirse Noonan gave Dave Connell’s side the platform for the three points.
Dearbhaile Beirne was introduced as a substitute after 54 minutes as Ireland made a perfect start to the elite qualifying phase.
Next up for Ireland was an encounter with another of the heavyweights of European football, the Netherlands and again the Irish team proved more than a match for their illustrious opponents with Dearbhaile Beirne again introduced as a second half substitute.
After the Netherlands recorded an emphatic 5-1 win over Hungary Ireland knew they would have to be at their best to contend with the Dutch and after the game they could consider themselves unlucky to have to settle for a share of the spoils after a 0-0 draw.
The final game of the series saw Ireland play Hungary who lost their two opening games, 5-1 against the Netherlands and 4-1 against England. However, Ireland were unable to find a breakthrough despite a number of near misses and had to settle for a share of the points in another 0-0 draw.