Under 18 International
John Coughlan Memorial Cup. 1st Leg
Republic of Ireland 0
Everything went according to plan and despite the final result it was a brilliant night for all the loyal club members who pulled out all the stops to make sure everything went according to plan.
A full moon shone magnificently down on the manicured playing surface and the large attendance ringed the ground and in doing so they turned the venue into a Theatre of Dreams.
It was a very special night especially for the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Craig Dunphy.
Craig is a member of the Tramore club and his family and many friends were present to see him line out and speaking after the match the young goalkeeper admitted it was a very special night for him. “It was a silly free kick for us to give way and I had no chance of saving the header. However standing in front of the huge Tramore crowd when the National Anthem was being played was very special. I know my mother and family and my little brother were proud and this is a night I will never forget. I hope I can go on and win many more caps and hopefully one day I will be able to make a living playing football. It’s every boy’s dream to become a professional footballer and I’m no different. Yes this was a wonderful night and I’m delighted not only for myself but for my family and everyone here at the Tramore club”.
The Irish team was composed of “home based” players and there is no doubt many of them will move out of the country in due course and Craig Dunphy will undoubtedly have many scouts flocking to Graun Park in the very near future.
There was limited attacking threat in the first half, which Ireland dominated thanks to some strong midfield play from Patrick Crowley, who was one of the best of the home players on the night.
Conor Walsh produced the best chance of the half – after a smart one-two with Dean Swords, he unleashed a well struck side-footed effort which went narrowly wide of the goalkeeper’s left hand post.
Mid-way through the second half substitute Jamie Roberts picked the ball up 35 yards from goal and unleashed a thunderous effort which rattled the bar after beating the goalkeeper.
With a quarter of an hour remaining Ireland’s resistance was finally broken. A free-kick from the right hand side by Jordan Pike was sent curling towards goal and was headed home by defender Ronan Templeton from near the penalty spot for the only goal of the game.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Craig Dunphy, Tony Archbold, Andrew McGovern, Troy O’Sullivan, Ryan Mawdsley, Conor Walsh, Lee Fetherston, Patrick Crowley, Jordan O’Regan, Dean Swords, Evan Coyne. Subs: Connal Flood for O’Regan 60 mins; Ciaran Kearney for Coyne 60; Michael Russell for Walsh 77; Fionn Curran for Fetherston 77.
WALES: Andrew Wycherley, Cai Owen, Jordan Pike, Ronan Templeton, Ben Nash, Sam Jones, Jack Rimmer, Ifan Jones, Nyasha Mwamuka, Tom Bibby, Lewis Evans. Subs: Tyler Brock for Evans 63; Jamie Roberts for Bibby 63; Tyler Aylward for Owen 71; Dan Dascalu for Pike 87.
REFEREE: Sean Grant. Assistants. Brian Fenlon, Patrick O’Connor. 4th Official. Gary Fitzgerald.