whelan spot kick the decider

01 August 2018

Colleges & Universities XI 0 Republic of Ireland U19 XI 1

A second half penalty coolly despatched by Colm Whelan proved enough to see a Republic of Ireland Under 19 selection get the better of a Colleges and Universities XI in a friendly fixture at the FAI NTC Abbotstown.

Whelan appeared to be impeded in the box by Pierce Philips as both players attempted to get a touch on Gavin Kilkenny's right wing cross and referee Christopher Braganza immediately pointed to the spot and the Waterford FC man stepped up to fire past Paul Martin.

The game proved to be a tight affair and was the first of two arranged by Under 19's Head Coach Tom Mohan ahead of back to back friendlies against Wales and a UEFA qualifying tournament hosted by the FAI in the coming months.

Later in the day Mohan's other selection drew 3-3 with a Drogheda United XI in the second game after leading 3-0 at one stage.

The fixture was also a welcome opportunity for the students Head Coach Greg Yelverton to view some newcomers against top quality opposition from the vast amount of talented players now in Third Level Education and playing for League of Ireland and Irish League clubs.

Speaking after the game, Yelverton said, "It was a good learning exercise for myself and my staff about this group of players. We're well aware of how large the talent pool is in Third Level. There is over a hundred players in the SSE Airtricity League alone, before adding the options available in the Irish League and Leinster and Munster Senior Leagues into consideration.

This game gave us an opportunity to assess how this group can play within our system against players mostly playing professionally in the UK. We're entering into a big twelve month period culminating at the World University Games in Naples and the more opportunities we have to assess players will give us more knowledge in preparing to compete in Italy. I'd like to thank Tom Mohan for presenting us with this opportunity and wish him and his squad well for their upcoming run of games."

The game proved a worthwhile work out for both sides and although it had remained scoreless at the interval the Colleges and Universities with Philips and Paul Doyle dominant in midfield managed to create the better chances and the bulk of them came to Carlton Ubaezuonu.

The lively Dundalk winger on loan at Galway United might have broken the deadlock after been set up by Philips but he pulled his effort wide.

Later Ubaezuonu had a couple of other opportunities to get off the mark, first he shot over from just outside the box and then after good work by Dave Hurley his effort was diverted out for a corner.

Under 19's 'keeper Rory Brown then came to his side's rescue to keep out a stinging point blank drive from Ubaezuonu following clever play by Adrian Delap.

At the other end Glen McAuley just failed to get a proper connection on to Cieran Dunne's deep cross and Brady had little difficulty holding on to the weak finish.

Bournemouth winger Gavin Kilkenny and Jack Connolly in midfield caught the eye but Under 19's failed to test Brady.

With both coaches emptying their benches during the second half the game became a little disjointed and neither 'keeper were really called into serious action.In the end it was left to Whelan's spot kick to finally decide the outcome of an enjoyable afternoon's football.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Jack Brady (DCU/Limerick FC); Liam McCartan (IT Carlow/Wexford FC), Darragh Gibbons (Maynooth University/ Bray Wanderers), Sean Bregazzi (IT Blanchardstown/Cabinteely FC),Tristan Noack Hofmann (DCU/Longford Town); Pierce Philips (UCC/Cork City), Paul Doyle (UCD/UCD AFC); Adrian Delap (Letterkenny IT/Derry City); David Hurley (UCC/Cobh Ramblers), Carlton Ubaezuonu (Dundalk IT/Galway United loan; Alan O'Sullivan (DCU/Warrenpoint Town.

Subs all used: Paul Martin (Waterford IT/Waterford FC),Rob Slevin (UCC/UCC AFC),Dean Kelly (IT Carlow/ Wexford FC), Jamie Hollywood (IT Blanchardstown/Longford Town), Cillian Duffy (Maynooth University/Maynooth University Town FC), Jack O'Keeffe (Dundalk IT/Dundalk),Ronan Hanaphy (Trinity College Dublin/Dublin University AFC), Ross Larkin (Queens University Belfast/Portadown FC).

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND UNDER 19 XI: Rory Brown (Unattached); Jack James (Luton Town), James Clarke (Burnley), Oisin McEntee (Newcastle United), Reece Staunton (Bradford City); Jason Knight (Derby County), Jack Connolly (Sunderland); Gavin Kilkenny (Bournemouth); Jordan McEneff (Arsenal), Cieran Dunne (Falkirk); Glen McAuley (Liverpool).

Subs all used: George McMahon (Burnley), Kameron Ledwidge (Southampton), Adam O'Reilly (Preston North End), Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers), Colm Whelan (Waterford FC).

Referee: Christopher Braganza Assistants: Paul Norton, Sarah Dyas.

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