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Republic of Ireland open their title defence against Scots

Schools Centenary Shield – match preview

The Republic of Ireland Schools select travelled to Glasgow this evening ahead of their Centenary Shield fixture against their host’s tomorrow evening (Thursday) in Ayr United FC.

This will be the Irish scholar’s first competitive outing while Scotland will be looking to get some valuable points on the board having suffered a narrow one nil defeat away to Northern Ireland and a two nil defeat against England at home last week. The tartan army will be hoping to ensure a better performance in Match Day 5 of the 2019 series to take them off the bottom of the table.

Last season, O’Connor’s side enjoyed a three one victory over Scotland to lift the Centenary Shield in Home Farm FC last April.

Chanel College graduate Ali Regbha’s double either side of a cracking drive from Liam Kerrigan of St. Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry gave the impressive Irish side a comfortable half time lead. While Nathan Fell grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors just after the hour mark, the Irish held out for an empathic victory. 

Head Coach William O’Connor of Balbriggan Community School has made three changes to the team that lined out against Australia in January. With International call-ups and injury ruling out trio Seán McEvoy (Virginia College Cavan), Dónal Higgins (Yeats College, Galway) and Gearoid Mulligan (Summerhill College, Sligo) for Thursday’s clash.

This will see the introduction of Matthew O’REILLY (Midleton CBS, Cork), Reece MURPHY (Wexford CBS) and Jack O’CONNOR (St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh) with all three looking to make an impression if given valuable game time.

Meath man James CLARKE who studies in Boyne Community School, Trim will follow in the footsteps of past pupil Cian Lee who was capped for FAI Schools last season.

Flying the flag for the Louth contingency will be goalkeeper David ODUMOSU (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk) and Brandon BERMINGHAM (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda) with Bermingham netting a brace against the Aussies last time out while Odumosu kept a clean sheet.

Another player to score against the Aussie’s was Oatland’s College pupil Jake ELLIS who has been in formidable form of late.  He will be joined by fellow Dubs Keith CARTER (Colaiste Choilm Swords), Ross TIERNEY (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall) and goalkeeper Jamie CLEARY (Drimnagh Castle CBS).

Cork outfit St. Francis College had Rory Doyle competing for the Republic of Ireland last season and they will have another new recruit representing the Rochestown institution with Josh HONOHAN lining out tomorrow evening.

Fellow Munster colleague Niall O’KEEFFE of DLS, Waterford captained the Republic of Ireland side against Australia and the young leader will relish more competitive outings under O’Connor’s guidance as did past pupil Adam Conway in 2018.

Fresh from their FAI Schools Dr. Tony O’Neill Senior National Cup success is Corey McBRIDEJack DOHERTY and Lee McLAUGHLIN of Carndonagh Community School. While another Donegal student makes the cut as Daragh ELLISON stars for St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny.

Summerhill College student Adam LYNCH impressed when introduced at half time in the Australian game and the Sligo grad will be hoping for more opportunities should they come his way against Scotland. 

Colin KELLY of St. Joseph’s College had an outstanding game for the Republic of Ireland against the Aussies and he has impressed at club level in recent months. The Galway youngster will no doubt play a pivotal role in their Centenary Shield endeavours this season.

Following the outing on Thursday, the Republic will have three games on the bounce with England coming to town on April 12. This will be followed a week later with a short trip to Belfast to entertain Northern Ireland who are currently enjoying top spot in the table while our campaign ends with a Welsh visit to Dublin on April 25.

Frank Wilson’s Northern Ireland have secured two wins from two and will be in competitive duty next week when they travel to Redditch United FC to take on England in their penultimate fixture. A win would no doubt secure a healthy degree of optimism for their final game at home to the Republic on April 18 in Queens University.

O’Connor enjoyed a wonderful debut season in 2018 but will be have the same level of success twelve months on. The pressure is on the Irish to come out of Glasgow with nothing short of a win in their opening voyage. 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND | David Odumosu (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk), Keith Carter (Colaiste Choilm Swords), Josh Honohan (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Daragh Ellison (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Corey McBride (Carndonagh Community School), Niall O’Keeffe (De La Salle College, Waterford), Colin Kelly (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Jack Doherty (Carndonagh Community School), Adam Lynch (Summerhill College), Ross Tierney (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall), Jamie Cleary (Drimnagh Castle CBS), James Clarke (Boyne Community School, Trim), Jake Ellis (Oaklands College, Dublin), Lee McLaughlin (Carndonagh Community School), Reece Murphy (Wexford CBS), Jack O’Connor (St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh)

MANAGEMENT | William O’CONNOR, Head Coach (Balbriggan Community College),  John McSHANE, Assistant Coach (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Ollie HORGAN, Performance Analyst (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Derek O’BRIEN, Equipment Manager (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Michael McGLYNN (Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor).

SCOTLAND | Herbert, B Cameron, Doig, Smith, Stafford, Thompson, Baird, Hodge (Capt.), Mulligan, Andrew, L Cameron, Heraghty, Coll, McConville, Meekison, Robertson, Romanis, Daramola


MD1 | Thursday, March 7 | Northern Ireland 1-0 Scotland | Crusaders FC | Kick Off 3pm

MD2 | Friday, March 8 | England 0-1 Wales | Slough Town FC | Kick Off 7pm

MD3 | Thursday, March 14 | Wales 0-1 Northern Ireland | Aberystwyth Town FC | Kick Off 7pm

MD4 | Friday, March 22 | Scotland 0-2 England | Inveririe Loco FC | Kick Off 7pm

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