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Release Date: 30/08/2012

Author: Roy Cathcart

THE NI U19 women's team put in a commendable performance to bounce back from a two-goal half-time deficit against their Czech counterparts at the SK Artima Stadium, Prague.

Having won the first match of the two-match friendly series two days before, this time Alfie Wylie’s team again conceded an early goal before taking control against  very robust opposition, with Simone Magill equalising with a powerful shot after 20 minutes. The Czechs went ahead when the defence failed to deal with a corner, and just before the interval, another defensive mistake led to their third.

To their credit, Northern Ireland continued to play an attractive passing game after half-time, despite getting little protection from the home referee in the face of some very physical tackling.  Eventually Caragh Milligan escaped the attentions of her marker to run onto a Laura Nicholas through ball and score Northern Ireland’s second on the hour mark.  

Kirsty McGuinness, in particular, came in for some very rough treatment, and three times was convinced that she had beaten the Czech offside trap only to be flagged by the assistant.

Northern Ireland’s forward players were constantly prompted by a supply of penetrating passes from Alex Hurst, Laura Nicholas, Jessica Foy and Hayley O’Donnell, while the central defensive pairing of Alana McShane and Jennifer McDade worked tirelessly and effectively throughout the half.         

The equaliser came after 75 minutes when Caragh Milligan escaped an attempted body-check, picked up a Laura Nicholas pass and out-paced of the Czech defence to beat the keeper for her second. Northern Ireland finished the game strongly and with a little luck and some favourable refereeing decisions might well have grabbed the winner.

Final score: Czech Republic U19 Women 3-3 Northern Ireland U19 Women

National Women’s Coach Alfie Wylie said: “Before the game we stressed that it was important not to lose today, in order to simulate tournament play in this little series. Despite being behind at half-time there was a confidence that we could get back into the game, and that confidence was justified by our dominant second half performance.

“Overall it has been a very successful tour, and a good learning experience for all concerned, and it will stand us in good stead for our European Championship Group Stage in Hungary in October.”

Team: Rebecca Galbraith, Alex Hurst, Ellie Butterwick (sub: Rebecca Holloway 60 mins), Laura Nicholas, Jennifer McDaid, Alana McShane, Caragh Milligan, Hayley O'Donnell (sub: Rebekah McMullan 75 mins), Jessica Foy, Kirsty McGuinness.  Unused substitutes: Shona Wright, Megan McQuillan, Nicole Graham, Lauren Brennan, Claire Shaw.



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  • Czech Republic v NI U19 women - aug 2012

    Caragh Milligan who scored twice for Northern Ireland in the game against the Czech Republic.

    Picture: Roy Cathcart

  • Czech Republic v NI U19 women - aug 2012

    Northern Ireland's Kirsty McGuinness in action against the Czech Republic.

    Picture: Roy Cathcart

  • Czech Republic v NI U19 women - aug 2012

    Simone Magill who scored Northern Ireland's first goal in the game against the Czech Republic.

    Picture: Roy Cathcart

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