Ireland sunk by Socceroos

THE Ireland U18 schools’ side let an interval lead slip yesterday as they suffered defeat by Australia in Coolock in their season opener.

Ollie Horgan’s team battled back from going behind to Stefan Sacilotto’s tap-in on five minutes to be ahead by the break.

Captain Colm Horgan equalised eight minutes later from close range following good work by Kilkenny native Sean Maguire. Ireland then went 2-1 up when Seán Russell’s 26th minute cross was caught but carried over the goal-line by goalkeeper Ryan Meskell.

However, the Socceroos bossed the second half after captain Kieran Paull equalised two minutes after the restart.

Substitute Chernor Bah pounced on the hour for the winner, leaving Ireland with plenty to ponder ahead of their Centenary Shield opener against Northern Ireland on March 16.

IRELAND: Comerford (CBS High School, Clonmel); Hyland (Oatlands College), Sweeney (Coláiste Raithlin, Bray), McMahon (St. Macarthan’s College, Monaghan), O’Donnell (Carrigaline CS); Horgan (Coláiste Einde, Salthill), Linehan (PBC, Cork), Molloy (Coláiste Iognaid, Galway), Russell (Coláiste Phadraig, Lucan); Maguire (CBS Kilkenny), Lehane (Douglas CS).

Subs: Corbet (Clonaslee VS, Laois) for Comerford, Matthews (Clonkeen College) for Sweeney, Healy (CBS Sexton Street) for McMahon, Moffat (Clonkeen College) for Molloy, Brady (Pobalscoil Neasain, Balboyle) for Russell, Doherty (Comeragh College) for Maguire, Sheedy (Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock), for Lehane (all h/t), O’Connor (Drimnagh Castle) for Matthews – inj (72 mins).

AUSTRALIA: Meskell; Maricic, Clements, Verdin, Knight, Keir, Paull, Sacilotto, Ilic; Denniss, Reus.

Subs used: Cooper, Witschge, Millar, Zico, Billic, Turnbull.

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