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Republic salvage a point with late equaliser from Ayinde

Republic of Ireland…….. 2 Northern Ireland Scotland……2

Michael McCullagh (48 pen), Leon Ayinde (90+4)                             Patrick Kelly (23), Aaron Wightman (71 pen)

THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND equalised late in injury time to share the spoils with Northern Ireland in dramatic fashion in the inspiresport Centenary Shield contest last night (March 31).

John McShane’s side came from behind twice to ensure they’re still in with a chance of claiming the title this season. The boys will now face the next two fixtures away from home but the point will go along way to keeping them in the fight. 

There were many talking points in Maginn Park with 94 minutes of competitive football played, as well as the awarding of two penalties, one per team and a goal chalked off for the Republic following shouts of a handball in the build up.

But the icing on the cake was when substitute Leon AYINDE (Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork) popped up on the six yard line to slot in the vital equaliser with three minutes of additional time played.

Northern Ireland lead one nil at the interval with Patrick KELLY getting a touch on a Aaron Wightman cross which could have been goal-bound itself, such as the quality of the delivery.

The Republic’s equaliser came three minutes into the restart when Michael McCULLAGH (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir) slotted home from the penalty spot following an infringement on substitute Zach Dunne (Presentation Brothers College, Cork).

Déjà vu as the North’s second goal came courtesy of a converted penalty from starlet Aaron WIGHTMAN who was taken down inside the box with twenty minutes remaining.

It was a spirited performance from McShane’s side as they kept attacking at every opportunity.

With time nearly up, the Republic were awarded a corner which saw keeper Reece Byrne (Oatlands College) make the journey forward to the opposite number’s box. A superb ball was whipped in by the impressive McCullagh and substitute Leon AYINDE got the boot to it to see it in the back of the net. Many thought the keeper had headed it in but the Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh scholar got the crucial strike.

All eyes will be on tonight’s fixture (Friday, April 1) which will see England host Scotland in the sixth game of the series. Ireland will be studying form as there next test is against the English on April 8 while they finish off the year away to Wales on April 21.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SCHOOLS | Reece BYRNE (Oatlands College), Michael KEYES (Malahide Community School), John O’DONOVAN (Clonakilty Community College), Eanna CLANCY (St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton), Charlie O’BRIEN © (Pobalscoil na Trionóide, Youghal), Tadhg WALSH (St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview), Michael McCULLAGH (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir), Steven HEALY (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Lennon GILL (St. Benildus College, Stillorgan), Michael RAGGETT (St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny), Kieran CRUISE (St. Benildus College, Stillorgan)

SUBS USED | Leon AYINDE (Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork) for Clancy (HT), Zach DUNNE (Presentation Brothers College, Cork) for Healy (HT), David TARMEY (Coláiste Bhaile Cháir) for Walsh (79), Alex HEALY BYRNE (Glanmire Community College) for Keyes (85), Oisín COLEMAN (St. Mary’s College, Dundalk) for Raggett (90+1)

SUBS NOT USED | Darragh REILLY (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar), Kian CLEMENTS (Coláiste Phadraig, Lucan CBS)

MANAGEMENT | John McSHANE, Head Coach (Dublin International School), Derek O’BRIEN, Coach (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore) Ollie HORGAN, Coach (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Martin CAVANAGH, Equipment Manager (Carndonagh Community School), Michael McGLYNN (Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor)

NORTHERN IRELAND SCHOOLS | Rian Brown (Ashfield Boys’ High, Belfast), Ewan McCoubrey (Linfield Academy), Lewis Tosh (North West Regional College), Aidan Kelly © (St Malachy’s College, Belfast), Odhran McCart (Larne High), Donal Scullion (St. Colman’s College, Newry), Aaron Wightman, Ryan McKay (Breda Academy, Belfast), Patrick Kelly, Shane Haughey (Southern Regional College), Jack McFeely (St. Columb’s College, Derry),

SUBS USED | Jack Montgomery (Linfield Academy) for Tosh (81), Joe Curran (St. Columb’s College) for Haughey (90+1), Ben Leek (Integrated College Dungannon) for McFeely (90+1)

SUBS NOT USED | Jamie Ray (Integrated School, Dungannon), Oscar McKenna (Our Lady & St. Patrick’s College), Max Greer (Larne High School), Caolan Millen (Mercy College Belfast), Luca McGreevey (RBAI, Belfast), Liam McStravick (Edmund Rice College, Glengormley)

MATCH OFFICIAL | Richard Storey (Donegal)

2022 inspiresport Centenary Shield


Thursday, March 3           Scotland 3-2 Northern Ireland                    Renfrew FC

Thursday, March 10         Northern Ireland 3-0 Wales                         H&W Welders FC

Thursday, March 17         Republic of Ireland 2-1 Scotland                 Home Farm FC, Whitehall

Friday, March 25               Northern Ireland 1-2 England                      H&W Welders FC

Thursday, March 31         Republic of Ireland 2-2 Northern Ireland Maginn Park, Buncrana


Friday, April 1                     England vs Scotland                                      Spennymoor Town FC

Thursday, April 7              Scotland vs Wales                                         Annan Athletic FC

Friday, April 8                    England vs Republic of Ireland                   Eastleigh FC

Thursday, April 14            Wales vs England                                          Llansawel FC                    

Thursday, April 21             Wales vs Republic of Ireland                       Caernarfon FC

All fixtures kick-off at 7pm

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Eamon Scott


Eamon Scott


Eamon Scott