Hendrick boosts Ireland bid
Rep of Ireland U-19 1
Poland U-19 0
The Republic of Ireland U-19s got their qualification bid for the European Championships in July off to a flyer yesterday as they beat mini-group hosts Poland in Koszalin.
Midfielder Jeff Hendrick silenced the home crowd of over 2,200 after 15 minutes when he headed home a cross from full-back Matt Doherty.
Irish goalkeeper Aaron McCarey was forced to make two saves either side of the break, but it was Ireland who created the better openings in the second half and Poland's netminder Filip Bednarek got down well on the hour to deny Samir Carruthers and then Declan Walker from the rebound.
Anthony Forde had the chance of adding a second with 20 minutes left, only for the midfielder to blaze over.
Up next for Ireland tomorrow is a meeting with Ukraine, beaten 1-0 by Italy in yesterday's other Group 4 game, before they complete the series against the Azzurri on Sunday. Only the team which finishes top of the four-nation group progresses to the UEFA finals to be played in Romania in July.
Irish boss Paul Doolin thought his side deserved the victory. "To beat the host nation in our opening game is fantastic. I felt we coped with their threat and indeed could have won by more in the end," he said.
rep of IRELAND -- McCarey (Wolves); Doherty (Wolves), O'Connor (Blackburn Rvs), Egan (Sunderland), Williams (Aston Villa); Murray (Watford), O'Sullivan (Blackburn Rvs), Hendrick (Derby County), Carruthers (Aston Villa); Forde (Wolves), Murphy (Bray Wds). Subs: Walker (Wrexham) for Murray (54), Wearen (West Ham) for Carruthers (66).