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Grego-Cox is the U21s hat-trick hero


Reece Grego-Cox scored a hat-trick. Photo PA

Reece Grego-Cox scored a hat-trick. Photo PA

Reece Grego-Cox scored a hat-trick. Photo PA

The Republic of Ireland Under-21s continued their unbeaten run in the European Championship qualifiers with an impressive 4-0 win over Israel at Tallaght Stadium yesterday.

QPR striker Reece Grego-Cox scored a hat-trick and Everton midfielder Harry Charsley completed the scoring as Ireland stay top of Group Five. It was a fantastic performance from start to finish from Noel King's team, as they continued their unbeaten run at Tallaght.

It took just over 40 seconds for them to go ahead. It was a goal made in Loftus Road as QPR forward Ryan Manning delivered a low cross to Reece Grego-Cox, and he tucked home from six-yards out.

Charsley doubled Ireland's lead as the industrious Grego-Cox somehow dug out a cross from the left and after captain Josh Cullen touched the ball on, the Everton midfielder tucked home under the keeper after the half-hour.

Three minutes later, Ireland got a third.

Israel lost the ball in defence and after a brilliant through-ball to Ronan Curtis, the Derry City forward was fouled by the out-stretched keeper, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Grego-Cox took up the responsibility and put Ireland into a commanding lead at the break.

Early in the second half, Grego-Cox claimed his hat-trick.

Manning's right-sided corner was only punched away as far as Curtis who saw his shot well saved but Grego-Cox tucked home the rebound in the 50th minute.

Ireland U21 boss Noel King said: "It was a great performance throughout.

"We would have liked to have got two wins in the week but to stay unbeaten and to get 10 points out of 12 puts us in a great position."