Ireland need to beat Wales - November 20, 2000

Ireland 1 England 3

England confirmed their favourites status by beating Ireland at Tolka Park on Saturday night in the second qualifying phase of the Women's u18 European Championships - leaving Ireland with the task of winning their last two games if they are to qualify for the next round.

In a scoreless first half, English winger Kelly MacDougall caused a number of problems for the Irish and her crosses to Amanda Barr and Kelly Shimmin forced saves from Irish goalkeeper Emma Merrigan.

The Irish rarely troubled the English in the opening 45 minutes but looked to have weathered the storm.

England almost took the lead a minute after the restart when Gemma Hunt rattled the woodwork.

Amanda Barr capitalised on a fortunate deflection to put the English one up in the 50th minute. Kelly Shimmin increased their lead in the 56th minute. McDougall was also involved in the third goal - initially with a rasping shot that Merrigan saved at the expense of a corner; and then taking the corner herself and finding Shimmin at the near post who headed home unmarked from close range to make it 3-0 to England.

It looked to be the makings of a hiding, but the Irish were made of sterner stuff. Rachel Jenkins went on a run and only the ball running away from her inside the penalty area prevented her scoring.

With Leanne Bowler - introduced as a second-half substitute - creating goal-scoring chances, the Irish started to gain confidence. English defender Casey Stoney earned herself a yellow card for a bad foul on Michelle Walsh. Elaine O'Connor's free-kick was headed home by captain Louise Henchy and this produced a grandstand finish in which Michelle Walsh, Jenkins and Samantha McCarthy all came close for Ireland.

Ireland go into their next match with Wales needing a win to hope to gain the second qualification spot behind England.

Earlier in the day Wales's Jenna Hopkins grabbed five and Mihircan Ocaktan replied with two goals in a 5-2 win over Turkey. Turkey play England today.

Republic of Ireland: Emma Merrigan (Virginia Intermont University, USA), Susan Ennis (St. Catherine's) Lisa McCormack (Lifford), Marie Curtin (Lifford), Louise Henchy capt (Lifford), Elaine O'Connor (Hofstra University, New York, USA), Rachel Jenkins (St. Catherine's), Mary Waldron (Firhouse LFC) Eileen O'Brien (Granville Rangers) Michelle Walsh (St. Catherine's), Samantha McCarthy (Lifford).

Subs: Wendy McGrath (St.Catherine's) for O'Brien; Marie Gallagher (Fanad United) for McCormack; Leanne Bowler (St. Catherine's) for McGrath

England: Carla Manship (Sheffield Wednesday), Lisa Sandys (Everton),Leanne Champ (Millwall Lionesses), Carly Hunt (Charlton) Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Elizabeth Gomersall (Doncaster Belles), Kelly McDougall (Everton), Gemma Hunt (Charlton),Kelly Shimmin (Everton), Amanda Barr (Doncaster Belles), Catherine Lawson (Nott'm Forest)

Subs: Leanne Small (Arsenal) for Shimmin; Alexa Hunn for Barr; Fara Williams (Chelsea) for Lawson.

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