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Monday 19 Aug 2019
McClean’s team defeated 2-1 by Cyprus in final game of four-team tourney

JD Club NI U15s lost their third and final match at a UEFA development tournament in Wales.

After defeating Malta 3-2 and narrowly losing to the host nation the boys in green and white were expected to get the better of Cyprus.

But there was a sense of déjà vu as the Cypriots won the game on a 2-1 scoreline at the Football Association of Wales training centre at Colliers Park, Wrexham.

In the match against Wales the Northern Ireland boys dominated for long periods but could not convert their chances as they lost 3-2. And that was the case again in the match against Cyprus.

Northern Ireland were on top throughout the first half and deservedly went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Jamie Donley free-kick which took a deflection off Jack Patterson to wrongfoot the Cyprus goalkeeper. 

In the second half Cyprus pushed hard for an equaliser but JD Club NI stood firm and looked to have the game won until two goals in the last 10 minutes handed Cyprus the victory. 

It was a cruel end to a game which McClean’s team dominated for long periods, and it was also a disappointing end to a tournament in which Northern Ireland performed well throughout but did not get the results their play deserved.

JD Club NI 2005s: Matthew Williamson (Linfield), Johnny McCullough (Portadown), Daniel Kirk (Glentoran), Ruairi McConville (captain, Linfield), Conor Cunningham (Crusaders), Jack Patterson (Crusaders), Mitchell Watterson (Glentoran), Jamie Donley (Tottenham Hotspur), Padraig McVicker (Cliftonville), Leon Boyd (Linfield), Ethan Sousa (Dundalk).

Substitutes: Rian Brown (Portadown), Thomas Connolly (Linfield), Cormac Austin (Unattached), Kenny Ximines (Dungannon United Youth), Luca Doherty (Derry City), Shea Brennan (Crusaders), Zach Cowan (Portadown), Caolan Donnelly (Cliftonville), Chris Cope (Cliftonville). 

Image: The JD Club NI U15 squad.