Belfast Telegraph

O'Riordan doubles up as NI finish with a win over Poles

By Keith Bailie

Northern Ireland's amateur internationals finished their Uefa Regions Cup campaign on a high by defeating their Polish counterparts. A second-half brace from Immaculata star Colm O'Riordan gave the Eastern Region a 2-1 win over Dolnoslaski at Shelbourne's Tolka Park.

As Harry McConkey's men could only manage one point from their opening two games, this victory wasn't enough to see the Ulstermen qualify for Saturday's Tallaght Park final, but it did at least give the team's small band of travelling fans something to cheer.

Northern Ireland started brightly, forcing Polish goalkeeper Jaroslaw Krawczyk into a number of fine saves.

Poland opened the scoring against the run of play in the fifth minute when Damian Niedojad beat Carrick Rangers goalkeeper Brian Neeson after a great solo run. Krawczyk was kept busy, saving from a Joel Cooper shot.

After the break, Colum Curtis set up O'Riordan to head in the equaliser on 55 minutes with a cross from the left. The pressure finally told in the 85th minute when Cooper hit a shot that started a scramble which was finally tapped home by O'Riordan.

McConkey's men finished third in the group, behind winners Croatia and second-placed side Germany. Croatia will play hosts the Republic of Ireland in the final on Saturday.

NI Eastern Region: Neeson (Carrick Rangers); Ringland (Lisburn Rangers), McMillan (H&W Welders), McMurray (H&W Welders), Armstrong (Welders); Dallas (Loughgall), Kelly (Armagh), O'Riordan (Immaculata), Cooper (Ballyclare Comrades); Curtis (Ards); Thompson (Dollingstown).

Subs: Murray (Warrenpoint Town) for Thompson (64), Gibson (Dollingstown) for Curtis (72), Kelly (Carrick Rangers) for Ringland (78).

 

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