THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND travel to Belfast to take on joint table toppers Northern Ireland in their penultimate outing of the season in the SAFIB Centenary Shield which takes place in Queens University tomorrow evening (April 18 at 6pm).
O’Connor’s side have earned one point in their two outings to date with a share of the spoils away to Scotland which ended one apiece and then a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to England last Friday evening in Dalymount Park.
However, the Republic of Ireland could take a share of the Shield if they are to win both their remaining games which will see them entertain Wales next Thursday evening (April 25 at 7pm) in Home Farm FC in the final game of the 2019 Shield schedule.
The only change to the Republic of Ireland side will see Jack O’Connor of St. Louis CS, Kiltimagh in for Oatlands College grad Jake Ellis. Jack was capped against Scotland last month and will look forward to re-joining his team-mates for the penultimate test.
Frankie Wilson’s side will enjoy their final game of the campaign at home with a win or a draw enough to seal the prestigious title. One which they last landed two season’s previous as they shared it with England. Northern Ireland were outright winners back in 2013 so they will look to replicate such successes tomorrow night in Queens.
Northern Ireland are level with England in the group table at the moment as they have secured seven points in three games. The Northern outfit had slender 1-0 victories over Scotland and Wales and a goalless draw with England early this month.
There are some notable changes to the Northern Ireland side which will see Josh Largo-Ellis (St. Michael’s Enniskillen), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy), Jack Bradley (St Joseph’s Boys’ Derry) and Trai Hume (NIFL Academy) returning to the squad following their absence against England.
Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast) the versatile midfielder has retained his position in the team following his involvement against England.
The likes of Callum McVeigh (Down High School) and Ethan Wynne (Bangor Academy), who scored the goal in the 1-0 win away to Wales will miss out for the Republic of Ireland clash.
As this is a must win for the visitors, it should ensure a testing environment for Wilson’s charges in Belfast.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND | David Odumosu (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk), Keith Carter (Colaiste Choilm Swords), Josh Honohan (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Daragh Ellison(St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Corey McBride (Carndonagh Community School), Niall O’Keeffe (De La Salle College, Waterford), Matthew O’Reilly (Midleton CBS), Colin Kelly (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Jack Doherty (Carndonagh Community School), Adam Lynch (Summerhill College), Ross Tierney (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall), Jamie Cleary (Drimnagh Castle CBS), James Clarke (Boyne Community School, Trim), Lee McLaughlin (Carndonagh Community School), Reece Murphy (Wexford CBS), Dónal Higgins (Yeats College, Galway), Jack O’Connor(St. Louis Community School)
MANAGEMENT | William O’CONNOR, Head Coach (Balbriggan Community College), John McSHANE, Assistant Coach (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Ollie HORGAN, Performance Analyst (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Conor FOLEY, GK Coach (Athlone Community College), Derek O’BRIEN, Equipment Manager (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Michael McGLYNN(Physio), Dr. Aidan O’COLMAIN (Team Doctor).
NORTHERN IRELAND | Ruadhan McKenna (Rathmore Grammar), Paul McLaughlin (Christian Brothers Belfast), Jamie Glover (Ashfield Boys’ High), Josh Largo-Ellis (St Michael’s Enniskillen), Malachy Smith (Breda Academy), Ruari O’Hare (St. Patrick’s Downpatrick), Patrick Burns CAPT. (St Malachy’s Belfast), Lewis McGarvey (St. Malachy’s Belfast), Andrew Whiteside (Coleraine GS), Jack Bradley (St. Joseph’s Boys’ Derry), Trai Hume (NIFL Academy), Sean Og Gallagher (Trinity College Belfast), Jake Corbett (SERC Lisburn), Liam Hassin (Larne High), Sam Robb (Fivemiletown College), Ryan Carmichael (St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon), Calvin McCurry (De La Salle Belfast), Callum Ferris (NIFL Academy).
MANAGEMENT| Frankie Wilson (Manager), Simon Nicks (Coach), Linda Fettus (Physio)
CENTENARY SHIELD RESULTS
MD1 | Thursday, March 7 | Northern Ireland 1-0 Scotland | Crusaders FC | Kick Off 3pm
MD2 | Friday, March 8 | England 0-1 Wales | Slough Town FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD3 | Thursday, March 14 | Wales 0-1Northern Ireland | Aberystwyth Town FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD4 | Friday, March 22 | Scotland 0-2 England | Inveririe Loco FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD5 | Thursday, March 28 | Scotland 1-1 Republic of Ireland | Ayr United FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD6 | Friday, April 5 | England 0-0 Northern Ireland | Redditch United FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD7 | Thursday, April 11 | Wales 1-2 Scotland | Cefn Druids FC | Kick Off 7pm
MD8 | Friday, April 12 | Republic of Ireland 0-2 England | Dalymount Park | Kick Off 7pm