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SKY SPORTS VICTORY SHIELD

Release Date: 10/11/2006

England's U16s scored an impressive victory in their second game of the Victory Shield,

with a three goaltriumphover Northern Ireland.Northern Ireland went into the game on a high after their recent 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the Wilkinson Sword Challenge International. However it was Kenny Swain's young side which dominated the first half match with a combination of persistent pressing and clinical passing when in possession - it was afine team performancethat the Northern Ireland team tried manfully to contain.

England opened the scoring after just 15 minutes with Sanchez Watt and Matthew Briggs combining well to force their opponents into conceding a very unfortunateown goal. It wasa cruel blow for the home team who had started the game brightly in front of a packed Ballymena Showgrounds, more than 1600 spectators attended, a record for a Victory Shield game at Ballymena.


Before the Northern Ireland team could regain their composure Kenny Swain's side tquickly doubled their lead, this time withNathan Delfouneso on the end of the cross. Englandstretched their lead to 3-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first period, with Sanchez Watt the goalscorer on this occasion.

This goal meant that Northern Ireland's task was almost impossible but coach Des Curry can be proud of his team's second-half response as theresolve of Northern Ireland strengthened as the game wore on. Steven Wallace and Graeme Taylor in particular were impressive as the home side thwarted any further opportunities, while Chris Curran looked lively throughout with his neat dribbling and bravery on the ball.

The Northern Ireland team now move on to play Wales at Mourneview Park, Lurgan on Friday 24 November 2006 with a 6.00pm kick off, once agian the game will be live on Sky Sports. The Sky Sports Victory Shield willnow decided at York City FC when England host Scotland on8 December in the final match of the Sky Sports Victory Shield. A draw for Scotland will see them emerge winners, while England require a victory to retain the Sky Sports Victory Shield.

Teams:

Northern Ireland:
1 Conor Devlin 2 Steven Wallace (16 Andrew Mitchell 48), 3 Graeme Taylor, 4 Conor McLaughlin 5 Kris McAdam, 6 Patrick McLaughlin, 7 Chris Curran, 8 Andrew King, 9 Deaglan Bunting, 10 Aeron McElwee (14 Lee McCaughern ( 71), 11 Robert Crawford (15 Daniel Kearns 58)

England: 1 Adam Street (West Ham United), 2 Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur) (17 Rhema Obed (Arsenal) 57), 3 Matthew Briggs (Fulham), 4 Sean Highdale (Liverpool) (16 Matthew James (Manchester United) 40), 5 Kyle Bartley (Bolton Wanderers), 6 Jack Rodwell (Everton) (c), 7 Jacob Mellis (Sheffield United), 8 Dean Parrett (QPR) (15 Mitchell McPike (Birmingham City) 67), 9 Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), 10 Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), 11 Sanchez Watt (Arsenal) (14 Jose Baxter (Everton) 40)

Attendance 1600

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