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England draw earns second

Ireland U-18 Schools 2 England U18 Schools 2

IRELAND'S Under-18 Schools international side needed a late Alex Byrne equaliser at Turner's Cross last week to conclude their Centenary Shield campaign with a 2-2 draw.

The final point earned proved to be crucial as it secured a second-placed finish behind competition winners Northern Ireland.

The home side went into last Friday's clash at Turner's Cross looking to avenge a final-day loss last year in Brighton that saw England crowned champions.

They got off to the best possible start when Jack Doherty finished from the penalty spot on 24 minutes after Kynan Rocks was fouled in the area.

The lead was extinguished before half-time, however, as Luke Donaldson headed home for England on 30 minutes, before the visitors took the lead 13 minutes from time through a Rhys Turner finish.

Ollie Horgan's side were not to be denied a share of the spoils, however, as Byrne headed home from a corner kick on 80 minutes.

The result also means Ireland's only defeat in the competition came on the opening day against the eventual winners – a slender 1-0 loss.

That setback was followed up by wins away in Scotland (2-0) and at home to Wales (1-0) as Ireland got their title charge back on track.

However, Northern Ireland's win in Wales two weeks' ago put the top spot out of reach for Horgan's boys heading into their final fixture.