Friday 26 May 2017

Bell's Belles edge closer to UEFA finals

Turkey 0 Ireland 3

Ireland’s Leanne Kiernan celebrates with Alex Kavanagh, right, after scoring her team’s first goal against Turkey in the 2015-16 UEFA Women’s U17
Ireland’s Leanne Kiernan celebrates with Alex Kavanagh, right, after scoring her team’s first goal against Turkey in the 2015-16 UEFA Women’s U17
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's U-17 women are on course to reach a second successive UEFA Championship finals after beating group hosts Turkey in yesterday's concluding first phase qualifier.

Although back-to-back victories over Ukraine and Andorra meant a draw in Izmir would have sufficed, Dave Bell's side dominated the contest and could have netted more than the three they scored.

Leanne Kiernan got the rout under way after just six minutes by pouncing in a crowded penalty area to stab the ball home from close range.

Another Shelbourne player, the impressive Alex Kavanagh, added a second five minutes before the interval with a delicious curler. Peamount United striker Lauren Kelly underlined Ireland's supremacy with a third on 69 minutes.

Ireland will discover their opposition for the next four-nation stage, the elite round, when the draw is made on December 10. They will be confident of another first-phase finish to secure their place in next summer's finals.

"This is the first stepping stone towards the finals," said Bell. "We scored some great goals but we also didn't concede any. When we came here to Turkey the girls spoke about topping the group, getting the nine points, and not conceding any goals, so it's a credit to them that they achieved that."

IRELAND - N McAloon (Peamount Utd); J Reddy (Shelbourne), T O'Gorman (Cork City), S Doyle (Salthill Devon), Z Green (Lagan Harps); T Ruddy (Peamount Utd), N Farrelly (Peamount Utd), A Kavanagh (Shelbourne); O'Callaghan (Peamount Utd), L Kelly (Peamount Utd), L Kiernan (Shelbourne). Subs: L Craven (Shelbourne) for Ruddy (h-t), L Reybet-Degat (FC Yverdon Feminin) for Farrelly (48).

Irish Independent

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