Republic of Ireland grab late winner

Republic of Ireland Select 1-0 Northern Ireland Select

Lilly Hengerer (70)


LORRAINE COUNIHAN’s side recorded a slender victory over the Northern Ireland Schools select in Oriel Park, home of Dundalk FC on Saturday last (February 20).


Lilly Hengerer bagged the match winner at the death to seal victory for the U15 Girls’ Republic of Ireland side. It was bittersweet for the American teenager who studies in Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill as she was a late call up to the squad.


Deele College schoolgirl Tyler Toland was lacking a little match practice having just returned from injury so the Manager decided to replace the Donegal native ahead of the England contest next month. It gives the Raphoe girl another few weeks to work on her fitness as the crew travel to Manchester for the big contest on March 6.


The inclusion of Lilly ensured a quartet of representatives for the Salthill School as she joined twin sister, Meghen alongside Aoife Lynagh and Lucia Lobato who also featured.


Lynagh captained the side for the day and put it in a sterling performance in defence as did her partner in crime Rachel O’Regan. The duo had a battle with the strike partnership of Joely Andrews and Leah McAvoy who were causing concern for the Republic of Ireland early on. Goalkeeper Karen Connolly pulled off a marvellous one handed save to deny Carla Devine half way through the first period.


Isibéal Carolan was a handful down the left wing and linked well with colleagues Amy Boyle Carr and Leah McHugh in some fine passages of play. The final ball was just lacking some serious conviction to threaten Perry’s goal.


Aisling Spillane was called into action midway through the first half as Meghen Hengerer was forced off due to injury. Counihan didn’t want to take any chances with the Bob Docherty tournament just around the corner.


Counihan guaranteed all players a piece of the action over the 70 minutes as Maria O’Sullivan and Rachel Kelly also starred between the posts in the second period, each providing a confident display for the Republic of Ireland. 


Lucia Lobato and Lilly Hengerer were enjoying some good possession in the latter stages of the game and the industrious Louise Masterson was gifted a few opportunities to score but the goalkeeper Jessica Magee was equal to the challenge.


With injury time looming Hengerer broke free down the right, a wonderful solo run was finished off superbly as she slotted past the onrushing Magee in goal. A worthy match winner for the youngster.


Claregalway pupil Sinéad Donovan picked up the Player of the Match accolade following the game as she was outstanding for the Republic of Ireland. The teenager will be a player to watch out for at the Bob Docherty Tournament in early April.


Next up for the Schools select is a trip to Manchester in early March as they take on England Schools in another friendly at Bury FC on March 6. The girls will have one final training session following that outing as the squad meet in Dublin on Saturday, March 19. The finishing touches will be applied to the squad before they travel to Wales for the International series.


Counihan and her crew are looking forward to the International excursion as it has proved very competitive in recent years. The four day competition will see hosts Wales with two teams selected (2001, 2002) as well as England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The sides will be split into two groups with Wales (01) and Northern Ireland in Counihan’s group. The other side of the draw sees current holders Scotland up against 2014 winners England and Wales (2002). It should prove to be a great contest for the Irish girls and one that they will relish.


REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SELECT:  Alannah McAVOY (Loreto Secondary School, Bray), Tyler TOLAND (Deele College, Raphoe), Meghen HENGERER, Lilly HENGERER, Lucia LOBATO, Aoife LYNAGH (all Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill, Salthill), Maria O’SULLIVAN, Zara FOLEY (both Ballincollig Community School), Jessica ZIU (Larkin Community College), Sinéad DONOVAN (Claregalway Community School), Rachel KELLY (Manor House School, Raheny), Rachel O’REGAN (Carrigaline Community School), Amy BOYLE CARR (St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties), Doireann FAHEY (Ardscoil Rathangan), Louise MASTERSON (Holy Family CS, Rathcoole), Karen CONNOLLY (St. Brigid’s School, Convent of Mercy, Tuam), Leah McHUGH (St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Foxford), Eabha O’MAHONY (Mount Mercy College, Cork), Isibeal CAROLAN (St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush), Aisling SPILLANE (The Kings Hospital, Palmerstown).


NORTHERN IRELAND SELECT: Perry, Cameron, Perchey, Burrows, Canning, Smyth, Howe, Bell, Devine, Andrews, McAvoy, McPhee, Kilpatrick, Rae, McGarrity, Magee, McClaren, Chambers


Bob Docherty Cup (U15 Girls’ International)

Newport Stadium & Dragon Park, Wales

Friday, April 1

Wales (02) vs Scotland, Newport Stadium, 4pm

Wales (01) vs Republic of Ireland, Dragon Park, 6pm

Saturday, April 2

Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland, Dragon Park, 2pm

Wales (02) vs England, Newport Stadium, 4pm

Sunday, April 3

Wales (01) vs Northern Ireland, Dragon Park, 12 noon

Scotland vs England, Newport Stadium, 2pm

Monday, April 4

1 vs 2, 3 vs 4, 5 vs 6, Newport Stadium, 11am


Bob Docherty Tournament – Roll of Honour






Republic of Ireland

Ballymena, Northern Ireland



Edinburgh, Scotland



Clare, Republic of Ireland


Republic of Ireland

Ballymena, Northern Ireland



Dumfries, Scotland


Republic of Ireland

Wrexham, Wales


Republic of Ireland

Salthill Devon, Galway



Belfast, Northern Ireland


Republic of Ireland

Glasgow, Scotland


Northern Ireland

Cardiff, Wales


Northern Ireland

AUL, Dublin



Shaws Bridge, Belfast



Repton School, Derbyshire



Toryglen, Glasgow


Renamed Bob Docherty Tournament