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Monday 25 Mar 2024
WU15s draw with England in tournament opener

Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-15 development team produced an excellent display to draw 1-1 with England Schools in their opening game in the annual Bob Docherty Cup tournament.


SAFIB Bob Docherty Cup


England Schools U15s 1-1 Northern Ireland WU15s

(England gained extra point by winning penalty shootout 3-1)


Northern Ireland: Ruby Adair (33’)


Athlone Town Stadium


25 March 2024

Team News

Head coach Stephen Graham, assisted by Heather Mearns, has an 18-strong panel at his disposal for the annual tournament, which is being staged in the Republic of Ireland this year.

The international competition for U15 girls’ development teams is run by the Schools’ Association Football International Board (SAFIB).

How it happened

Northern Ireland started strongly and forced a couple of corners, with attacker Ruby Adair causing the England defence problems down the right flank.

An England player headed into the side netting before they took the lead from the penalty spot on 15 minutes.

Northern Ireland keeper Zara McAvoy made two good stops as England pushed for a second as the first half drew to a close (30 mins each half).

Half-time: England Schools 1-0 Northern Ireland WU15s

After the break Northern Ireland upped the tempo. Three minutes in Maja Stachura slipped the ball to Adair and she fired the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

Adair was through on goal again but pulled her shot just wide, while Abbie Smyth curled in a dangerous cross which Ava Hurl headed past the upright. Then Smyth cut inside and fired in a shot, but the England keeper held on to the ball.

England were awarded another penalty in added time. They failed to convert it this time, however.

A penalty shootout followed the final whistle, and it was won by England.

The draw in regulation time means Northern Ireland have started their campaign with a point, while England have been awarded an extra point. The Republic defeated Scotland 2-1 in today’s other game at the tournament.

Next up for Northern Ireland is a match against Scotland Schools tomorrow (26 March). It kicks off at 3pm.

Full-time: England Schools U15 1-1 Northern Ireland WU15s (3-1 pens)


Northern Ireland WU15s: Zara McAvoy, Holly Hilton, Mirijana Karrabecaj, Chloe Beckinsale, Lily Brooke Wallace, Charlotte Havern, Emilee Leacock, Abbie Smyth, Maja Stachura, Ruby Adair, Grace McAllister.

Substitutes: (used) Ava Hurl, Heidi Curran, Madison Bell (GK), Jemima Hernan, Sophie Graham; (unused) Daisy Moore, Grace Campbell.