Tubbercurry’s Liam Kerrigan will once again be part of the Republic Of Ireland’s schoolboys squad for their Centenary Shield game against Scotland at Home Farm FC in Whitehall at 2pm today.
The Sligo Rovers midfielder is a student at St Attracta’s Community School, and will be joined in the Irish squad by Rovers team-mate Luke McNicholas, who is a student at Mayo’s Balla Secondary School.
William O’Connor’s scholars are in a commanding position with a win and two draws under their belts and are currently in second spot on the leader board with five points. Northern Ireland finished out 3-1 winners against England last week in Queens University to see them finish on a high but the remaining three teams in contention will look to go one better. Scotland are currently in third with four points from two games while Wales are also on four points from three games.
The visitors had a slow start to their season with a scoreless draw at home to Northern Ireland but they captured a major scalp against England in York City three weeks ago. The 0-2 win for the tartan army was the first on English soil since 2000. Daniel MacKay converted the opener following a missed penalty earlier in the day while the talented Nathan Fell came off the bench to convert at a crucial time in proceedings.
No doubt confidence is high in the Scotland camp as they feature in their penultimate outing. The Shield run will be complete when Scotland entertain Wales next week in Queen of the South FC. However the Irish will be hoping to wrap up proceedings before this when the sides face off later today!
There is one change to the Republic of Ireland side that drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland a fortnight ago. Colm Whelan of Grennan College has been drafted in to replace the injured James Carroll of St. Oliver’s CC, Drogheda. The Thomastown youngster was capped in Luton last month and will enjoy a return to the squad.
Scotland also have one change to their select which sees newbie Ben Harwood in for the experienced Ryan Connelly who was capped in 2017.
Interestingly in the last 18 seasons, the Irish have gained the upper hand in this head to head battle with the Republic of Ireland winning on 9 occasions, drawing 6 and losing just 3. Though the most recent defeat came twelve months ago when Captain Kyle Banner headed home the match winner after just ten minutes on the clock to see Scotland take full points in Renfrew FC.
This game will be a stern test for O’Connor’s side who have yet to capitalise on their goal scoring opportunities as they’ve netted just twice in this series, both from set pieces. Nevertheless two clean sheets has seen them in a wonderful position to recapture the title they last won three seasons ago. All to play for as the action gets underway at 2pm in Home Farm FC.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SELECT | Daniel Houghton & Kieran Farren (Carndonagh Community School), Adam O’Connor (St. Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff), Colm Whelan(Grennan College, Thomastown), Luke McNicholas (Balla Secondary School), Darryl Walsh (St. Declan’s Community College), Ronan Manning & Adam Rooney (Yeats College, Galway), Liam Kerrigan (St. Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry), Cian Lee (Boyne Community School), Peter Adigun (Riversdale Community College), Ali Regbha (Chanel College, Coolock), Jack Ryan (Templeogue College), Jake Walker (St. Kevin’s Community College, Clondalkin) Lido Lofeta (Balbriggan Community College), Rory Doyle(St. Francis College, Rochestown), Cian Murphy (Coláiste Dun Iascaigh, Cahir), Adam Conway (De La Salle College, Waterford)
MANAGEMENT | Head Coach William O’Connor (Balbriggan Community College), Coach John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), GK Coach Conor Foley (Athlone Community College), Performance Analyst Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Equipment Manager Darryl Mooney (Balbriggan Community College), PhysioMickey McGlynn Doctor Aiden O’Colmain
SCOTLAND | Elliot Anderson, Fraser Currid, Sean Fagan, Jack McDowall, Nathan Brown, Aidan McKeown, Gavin Watt, Cameron Clark, Kieran Chalmers, Nathan Fell, Jack Hodge, Aidan Kemp, Daniel MacKay, Reece Rintoul, Gavin Scott, Declan Walsh, Ben Harwood, Sam Walker
2018 Centenary Shield Results
February 15 Wales 1-2 Republic of Ireland The Rock, Cefn Druids FC (7pm)
March 9 Scotland 0-0 Northern Ireland Renfrew FC (7pm)
March 15 Northern Ireland 1-1 Wales Armagh City AFC (2pm)
March 16 England 0-0 Republic of Ireland Kenilworth Stadium, Luton Town FC (7pm)
March 23 England 0-2 Scotland Bootham Crescent, York City FC (7pm)
March 29 Republic of Ireland 0-0 Northern Ireland Monaghan United FC (2pm)
March 29 Wales 1-0 England Cardiff Metropolitan University FC (7pm)
April 6 Northern Ireland 3-1 England Queen’s University, Belfast (7pm)
2018 Centenary Shield Fixtures
April 12 Republic of Ireland vs Scotland Home Farm FC, Whitehall (2pm)
April 19 Scotland vs Wales Queen of the South FC (7pm)