Bell’s WU17s end Elite Round with Scottish win
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland
A hard fought 1-0 win over Scotland saw the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 side finish in second-place in their Elite Round qualifying group today.
While Germany topped the group and will progress to the next stage, the Irish squad were very pleased with their performance at the tournament, especially as they faced such a tough group.
A Blessing Kingsley goal gave Colin Bell’s side victory today at Ainsley Park over a Scotland team who had been keen to not finish bottom of the group on home turf.
Ireland ‘keeper, Courtney Maguire, also had a big part to play in the tie, making a fantastic save in the second half to keep her side on top.
Kingsley’s goal came on the back of a Scottish defensive mistake, but the Wexford player had to keep her cool to slot home what turned out to be the decisive goal.
The wind had an impact on the quality of the game, with a number of shots going awry due to strong gusts.
And the Scottish certainly weren’t going down without a fight and threw everything they had at the Irish team.
But Bell was happy with the professional manner in which his team dealt with the game and secured the three points.
“It was important to get the win. The girls showed great character today. It was the third game in just a few days, and along with the training, that lead to there being a few tired legs out there. But again the character and discipline was there and actually apart from that one good shot – which was excellently saved by Courtney – the Scots didn’t have any other clear chances. We kept them out and contained them very well,” said Bell.
As well as it being the final game of the group, Bell also acknowledged that the weather had a part to play in keeping the game tight.
“It was a strange one today. There were times there was nothing, but then it would come up in a gust. It pushes you into a defensive mode. The Scots were very keen to do something in the game, we could have been a little bit more effective in counter attack, but we did well.”
Bell feels this has been an important tournament for the future of the Irish women’s game.
He said: “We wanted to win this game, we wanted to finish it off with the three points. We’ll have two or three, or maybe more, players coming out of this squad into the women’s national team and that’s what it is all about – continuing to develop and make progress.”
Republic of Ireland: Courtney Maguire; Therese Kinnevey, Shauna Brennan, Eabha O’Mahony, Orla Prendergast (Mia Dodd 75), Emily Whelan, Aoibheann Clancy, Rebecca Cooke (Taylor White Maguire 92), Zara Foley, Della Doherty, Blessing Kingsley (Ellie Ferguson 92).
Scotland: Alicia Yates; Paige McAllister, Robyn McCafferty, Laura McCartney, Rebecca McAllister, Hannah Scott (Monica Forsyth 46), Eve McFadden (Eilidh Shore 46), Hannah Cunningham (Philippa McCallum 88), Jennifer Smith, Rosie McQuillian, Carly Girasol.
Referee: Briet Bragadottir (ISL)