Doolin's men stay in hunt
Estonia U-23 0
Rep of Ireland U-23 1
SPORTING Fingal midfielder Shaun Williams' first-half header handed the Republic of Ireland U-23s a deserved win over Estonia in Tallinn last night to boost their hopes of qualification for the semi-finals of the International Challenge Trophy.
Paul Doolin's side must now wait on results elsewhere before learning if they have earned themselves a berth in the penultimate stage of the representative competition.
Williams had almost broken the deadlock on 10 minutes, but his powerful drive crashed off the crossbar with Estonian 'keeper Sergei Lepmets beaten.
Doolin's side went in front on 41 minutes and, almost inevitably, it was the star of the show Williams who got on the score sheet.
Billy Dennehy's corner-kick to the back post was headed across goal by Kenny Browne and Williams was given the simple task of guiding the ball home from three yards.
The hosts created a trio of half-chances in the opening 20 minutes of the second period, only one of which -- a free-kick from Simm Luts on 61 minutes -- forced Robert Duggan into action.
But Ireland continued to threaten and saw out the victory, despite Greg Bolger seeing red after a second yellow card in the final minute for time wasting.
Estonia -- S Lepmets; M Jurgenson, T Teniste, I Motozov, A Jahimovits, E Puri, A Pebre, S Luts, H Anier (K Kallaste, h-t), T Votti (A Taar, 74), A Dmitrijev (A Frolov, 62).
Republic of Ireland -- R Duggan, S Conneely, C Powell (capt), K Browne, G Breen, S Duggan, D K (D McMillan, 89), S Williams, G Cummins, G Bolger, B Dennehy.
Ref -- Eiko Saar (Estonia).