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King pleased with workout

NOEL KING'S Irish U-21s failed to make their dominance count as they were held scoreless in Larnaca.

With no competitive football until they kick off their European Championship qualification in September, this was a decent work- out for King's charges who were on top throughout.

Chelsea starlet Conor Clifford came close to carving out the first opening for the Irish in the 10th minute, but his through ball was slightly over-hit and James Collins failed to get on the end of the pass. Lampros Fylaktou went close for the Cypriots.

Midfielder Richie Towell fired narrowly over from 30 yards as the sides went in scoreless.

On the restart, Texas-born debutant Conor Doyle went close on the hour mark.

Clifford, Doyle and Sean Scannell all had chances as Ireland couldn't break down the home defence.

"Overall it was a training exercise and we gave a run-out to all 17 players that travelled and were fit enough to play," said King (pictured left). " I saw plenty of good and bad things in the performance. I was pleased with lots of the good stuff, but I know there's plenty of room to improve."

"We probably had the lion's share of the possession and we created a few half-chances going for a winner but it never came. It was our second clean sheet on the trot and you will always take that, particularly in such warm conditions."

IRELAND -- Branagan (Bury) (McLoughlin, Ipswich, h-t); Towell (Hibernian) (Stevens, Shamrock Rovers, 72), Duffy (Everton), Kiernan (Watford), Dunleavy (Barnet); Connolly (Bolton), Clifford (Chelsea), Hourihane (Ipswich) (Devitt, Hull City, 46), Doran (Inverness CT) (Doyle, Derby, 46); Scannell (Crystal Palace) (Gibbons, Alki Larnaca, 80), J Collins (Shrewsbury) (M Collins, APEP, 75).

Irish Independent