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Thursday 28 Mar 2024
WU15s pipped by the Republic in Athlone

Northern Ireland’s Women’s Under-15 development team lost by a goal to nil against Republic of Ireland Schools in their final game in this year’s Bob Docherty Cup tournament.


SAFIB Bob Docherty Cup


Republic of Ireland Schools 1-0 Northern Ireland WU15s


Republic of Ireland: Eva Loftus (14’)


Athlone Town Stadium


28 March 2024

Team News

Head coach Stephen Graham made three changes to the starting line-up for his side’s third and final match in the international competition for U15 girls’ development teams run by the Schools’ Association Football International Board (SAFIB).

Coming in to the first XV were goalkeeper Madison Bell and strikers Maja Stachura and Sophie Graham.

How it happened

The Republic created the better chances in the first half, however the first opportunity of the game fell to Northern Ireland. Mirijana Karrabecaj’s free-kick was met by Sophie Graham. She connected well with the ball but the keeper saved her effort.

Down the other end goalie Madison Bell kept out a long range hit from a free-kick. The Republic then went close again before opening the scoring on 14 minutes. Eva Loftus hit the back of the net with a blaster from 25 yards.

Four minutes later Bell dived full length to push a shot around the post before Northern Ireland’s Emilee Leacock saw her fine strike drift inches over the bar.

Half-time: Republic of Ireland Schools 1-0 Northern Ireland WU15s

Northern Ireland started the second half strongly.

Maja Stachura had a long range shot well saved by the Republic keeper, while Ruby Adair dragged an effort wide and the home keeper saved an Ava Hurl header.

The Republic fired one over the top before Charlotte Havern blasted a shot over the bar, and Bell produced an excellent fingertip save to push a long range piledriver onto the bar.

Northern Ireland, who drew with England and lost narrowly to Scotland in their previous two games, pressed hard for an equaliser and both Adair and Hurl went close.

They produced an excellent performance in the second half and were unlucky not to get something out of the game.

Afterwards Stephen Graham said: “I am immensely pleased with the progress of this group over the past year and proud of their performances during this tournament.

“They won high praise from the other nations for how they played."

England took home the Bob Docherty Cup after defeating the Republic on Tuesday and registering two draws and gaining an extra two points via penalty shootout wins (against Northern Ireland and Scotland).

Full-time: Republic of Ireland Schools 1-0 Northern Ireland WU15s


Northern Ireland: Madison Bell, Holly Hilton, Chloe Beckinsale, Lily Brooke Wallace, Mirijana Karrabecaj, Emilee Leacock, Charlotte Havern, Maja Stachura, Abbie Smyth, Ruby Adair, Sophie Graham.

Substitutes: (used) Ava Hurl, Heidi Curran, Daisy Moore, Grace Campbell, Jemima Hernan; (unused) Zara McAvoy (GK), Grace McAllister.