Chambers keeps rivals at bay in schools stalemate
Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0
Ireland's U-18 schools team will need to discover their shooting boots to retain the Centenary Shield after drawing a blank against Northern Ireland Schools in their opener yesterday.
Indeed, but for some good saves by goalkeeper Corey Chambers in Arklow, the champions could easily have gotten their campaign off to a losing start against their cross-border rivals. Next up in the series for Paddy Reilly's side is a visit to England on April 8 before they welcome Scotland to Killarney six days later. Their final game comes on April 28 away to Wales.
Cork native Aaron Drinan fashioned Ireland's first chance only to be denied by Jack Ferguson, while at the other end Chambers was relieved to see Salon Jallow's shot whistle wide before the break.
Drinan continued to pose a threat after the break, nodding over from close range, and he was aided in attack following the introduction from the bench of BJ Banda, best known for clinching promotion for his club Finn Harps last November.
Together with Jamie Aherne, they kept the visitors' defence busy but it needed Chambers to sacrifice a booking by handling outside his penalty area to prevent them conceding also.
Thankfully, the Waterford United man survived the remainder without incurring another yellow card and also maintained his superb display.
IRELAND - C Chambers; S Hanney, C McCarthy, L Scales, K Brouder; A Delap (K Doherty 65), E Morgan (R O'Donoghue 26), A Drinan, D Grimes (G Doherty 86), J Aherne; J Stafford-Lacey (BJ Banda 56).
NORTHERN IRELAND - J Ferguson; R Wilson, K Hamil, C Marron, R Neale; R Young (M Henry 62), R Nimick (N Ferris 71), J McCaw (A McCracken 62), S Jallow, L Anderson; P Cafolla (T Browne 46).