Northern Ireland Women were second best to Republic of Ireland Women at Tallaght Stadium this evening.
The Republic took the lead after four minutes in a World Cup qualifier and never looked back as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against Alfie Wylie’s side.
They opened the scoring when Leanne Kiernan produced a neat lob over advancing Northern Ireland keeper Jacqueline Burns.
Their second came on 11 minutes. Republic full-back Heather Payne produced a long range effort which was clawed out by Burns, however the ball fell to Republic striker Rianna Jarrett who laid it off to Republic captain Katie McCabe and she smashed the ball into the net.
Kiernan grabbed her second goal of the game on 27 minutes. Denise O’Sullivan produced a defence splitting pass which Kiernan latched on to and she coolly slotted the ball past Burns.
A scuffed effort from captain Marissa Callaghan was all Northern Ireland managed in the first half as the Republic dominated proceedings.
On 57 minutes the Republic extended their lead when Harriet Scott was upended by Burns in the box and McCabe stepped up to slot the spot-kick past the Northern Ireland keeper.
Northern Ireland enjoyed more possession after that with substitute Megan Bell producing some decent runs. And Caragh Milligan unleashed an excellent shot from 18 yards on 75 minutes which whistled inches past the post.
Kiernan was unlucky not to complete her hat-trick in the 82nd minute when she ran at the Northern Ireland defence and produced a stinging drive which hit the post and bounced into the keeper’s arms.
In the end the Republic were just too strong and deservedly ran out 4-0 winners.
Northern Ireland complete their FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Qualifying Group 3 campaign on Tuesday with a home game against Slovakia at Shamrock Park in Portadown (7.30pm).
Northern Ireland: Jacqueline Burns, Billie Simpson, Jessica Foy, Laura Rafferty, Julie Nelson, Kerry Montgomery, Marissa Callaghan (captain), Caragh Milligan, Simone Magill, Sarah McFadden, Lauren Wade. Substitutes: (used) Megan Bell, Rebecca McKenna, Freya Holdaway; (not used) Emma Higgins, Catherine Hyndman, Louise McDaniel, Emma McMaster.
Republic of Ireland: Amanda Budden, Heather Payne, Harriet Scott, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahey, Diane Caldwell, Leanne Kiernan, Denise O’Sullivan, Katie McCabe (captain), Tyler Toland, Rianna Jarrett. Substitutes: (used) Karen Duggan, Jessica Ziu, Amber Barrett; (not used) Grace Moloney, Aine O’Gorman, Claire O’Riordan,