A LEINSTER-based Ireland U-18 Schools representative side concluded the season in unique fashion with a 2-1 win over New Zealand.
IRELAND SCHOOLS REP SIDE 2 NEW ZEALAND SCHOOLS 1
Goals either side of the break from Colm Toole and substitute Alan Gannon were enough for the side put together by Leinster manager John McShane to claim the victory.
Traditionally, New Zealand's visits – along with that of Australia – are a preparation test for the Ireland U-18 international side ahead of the Centenary Shield.
However, the timing of the Southern Hemisphere side's arrival this year opened the door for McShane and his Leinster players.
With Monday's clash set for the Oscar Traynor Complex in Dublin, McShane's provincial stars were the perfect stand-ins. The new-look Ireland side took their opportunity as Poole of Clonaslee College opened the scoring in the first half.
Colm Crowe of Chanel College failed to double the lead from the penalty spot just before the break and the visitors capitalised early in the second period. Right-back Jamie Goonery of Palmerstown CS was the unlucky man as he deflected a shot into his own net.
Despite the setback, the home side were presented with another opportunity from the spot and sub Alan Gannon – whose twin brother Paul started at left-back – fired home the penalty. The St Joseph's Fairview man's goal would prove to be the winner on what manager McShane called a "proud day."
IRELAND REPRESENTATIVE SQUAD: S McGuinness (Col Chraobh Abhann, Wicklow), C Breslin (Arklow CC), P Gannon (St Joseph's Fairview), Kevin O'Connor (St Peter's Coll, Wexford), K Cantwell (Kieran's Coll, Kilkenny), J Goonery (Palmerstown CS), P Hopkins (Larkin CC, Dublin), C Crowe (Chanel Coll), D Cashin (Malahide CS), N Arevadze (St Killians DSD), C Poole (Clonaslee Coll), A Gannon (St Joseph's Fairview), C Moore (Palmerstown CS), D Hurley (Tallaght CS), C Stafford (Collinstown Park), A Murphy (Col Chill Mhantáin), L Traynor (St Colmcille's, Knocklyon), A Zayed (St Benildus Coll).