Northern Ireland U17 Women pitted themselves against a very solid Wales U17 team at the Centre of Excellence, Ystrad Mynach, today.
Within six minutes of kick-off Alison Nicholl’s team found themselves chasing the game when a floated corner by Grace Horrell deceived everyone and ended up in the back of the Northern Ireland net.
The girls battled for the rest of the half but were restricted to long range efforts that were comfortably dealt with by Wales goalkeeper Deanna Lewis.
Northern Ireland were more adventurous in the second half but on 53 minutes Wales doubled their advantage when a corner was headed in by Alice Jones.
Captain Kelsie Burrows headed in a Megan Bell freekick on 69 minutes to pull a goal back for Northern Ireland and set up a frantic end to the match.
As the clock ticked down Northern Ireland piled on the pressure but with some stout defending the home site held on for a deserved 2-1 victory.
The teams play each other again at the same venue on Friday morning with an 11am kick-off.