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Monday 26 Feb 2024
WU19s battle hard to defeat Greece

Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-19 team enjoyed a hard fought win over Greece in the first of two friendly international matches against the Greeks in Belfast this week.


International Friendly


Northern Ireland WU19 1-0 Greece WU19


Northern Ireland: Weir (53’)


Blanchflower Stadium, Belfast


25 February 2024

Team News

Two friendlies against Greece this week are preparation for games against Estonia, Kazakhstan and Georgia in April in stage two of the qualifiers for Women’s U19 Euro 2024 (League B Group 5).

WU19s boss Gail Redmond had a 20-strong panel to choose from.

How it happened

The match was characterised by Northern Ireland's dominance in possession and resilient defence.

Greece, despite their aggression, failed to break through the home defence.

From the outset Northern Ireland asserted their authority, controlling the tempo of the game and enjoying plenty of possession.

Aimee Kerr went close with a first time strike and Kascie Weir showed great strength to turn a defender before forcing the keeper into a strong point blank save.

Despite their dominance Northern Ireland went in at half-time with nothing to show for their efforts.

Half-time: Northern Ireland WU19 0-0 Greece WU19

The second half started with Northern Ireland once again on the front foot and the pressure paid off when they capitalised on a set-piece opportunity in the 53rd minute.

A well-delivered corner from Sofie Keenan found its way to the head of Abi Sweetlove at the back post. Her header was superbly saved but after a scramble in the box Weir was first to pounce on the loose ball to guide it home.

Despite falling behind, Greece refused to back down and launched several counter-attacks in the second half.

Their aggressive approach saw them create a few scoring opportunities, but Northern Ireland's defence stood firm. Goalkeeper Kate Smith showed great composure as she made some comfortable saves.

It was a disciplined performance from Northern Ireland, who deserved their narrow win. The result sets them up nicely for the second game of the double header at Blanchflower Stadium on Wednesday (28 February), which has a 3pm kick-off.

Full-time Northern Ireland WU19 1-0 Greece WU19

Northern Ireland WU19 squad:

Goalkeepers – Kate Smith (Larne Women), Kaciee Griffin (Sporting Khalsa).

Defenders – Sofie Keenan (Glentoran Women), Faye Loughran (Lisburn Rangers Ladies), Niamh O’Donnell (Mid Ulster Ladies), Orleigha McGuinness (Cliftonville Ladies), Sophie Magee (Grasshopper Zurich, SUI), Rebecca Magee (Lisburn Ladies).

Midfielders – Abi Sweetlove and Rhyleigh Marks (both Linfield Women), Aimee Kerr and Megan Neill (both Glentoran Women), Sarah Tweedie (Huddersfield Town Women), Tara Gilmore (Larne Women).

Forwards – Aoibhe O’Neill, Naomi McLaughlin and Tara Reilly (all Cliftonville Ladies), Kascie Weir and Rachel McIntyre (both Glentoran Women), Maeve McConaghy (unattached).