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U17S hungry for GREEK success!

IT was a good week's work all round for the Republic of Ireland Under 17s last week against Hungary as they claimed two wins in the build-up to next month's crucial European Championship qualifiers.

On Tuesday night in Tolka Park, Sean McCaffrey's side secured a 2-0 win thanks to goals either side of half time, while on Thursday evening in the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, a single goal was enough to make it a double win in the friendly double-header.

On Tuesday, the Irish should've taken the lead in the 23rd minute, but West Ham United's Daniel Purdy saw his penalty saved by 'keeper David Haladas Dombo.

But 12 minutes later they were celebrating when QPR's Frankie Sutherland gave the Irish fans something to cheer when he fired home with a well directed free kick from just outside the box.

Although the Irish endured some nervy moments early in the second half when the Hungarians missed some good chances to draw level, they were to go 2-0 ahead midway through the half when Purdy played a neat one-two with Reading's David Murphy before calmly finishing to the corner.

Murphy and Kevin Knight (Leicester City) could've added to the Irish tally before the end, but it was to end 2-0.

On Thursday, the Irish had to wait until the 54th minute to secure the win.

And Purdy proved he wasn't going to be unnerved by Tuesday's night's penalty miss, as he stepped up to the mark this time to safely tuck away the spot kick past the Hungarian 'keeper.

Now McCaffrey can switch his attentions to next month's European Championship qualifiers on the back of the double victory over the Hungarians.

Those European Championship games take place next month in Greece in what is the second phase of qualifying with the Republic of Ireland looking to reach the European Finals in Liechtenstein.

Apart from the mini group hosts Greece, Ireland will also face Austria and Finland with the games scheduled for March 19 to 24 with only the winners of the four nation mini-group progressing to those Finals in May.

Meanwhile, John Morling's under 16 side finished their participation in the four nation tournament in the Algarve last Monday by going down 3-1 to Holland.

Having drawn 0-0 with Italy and then lost 1-0 to the host nation Portugal -- the eventual winners of the tournament -- Ireland could've finished second in the tournament, but went down to the Dutch with Philip Roberts of Norwich City scoring the Irish goal.


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