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Collins shoots Ireland to victory

James Collins' hat-trick earned Ireland Under-21 side a thumping 4-1 win over Liechtenstein in Eschen to boost their Euro 2013 qualifying hopes.

The Shrewsbury striker notched three times in eight minutes in the first half as Noel King's side overturned a one-goal deficit to close to within three points of group leaders Turkey with a game in hand.

Simon Pirker gave the home team a 14th-minute lead but it lasted only 12 minutes as Manchester United winger Robbie Brady, who has impressed on loan at Hull this season, delivered a near-post corner which was headed home by Collins.

Greg Cunningham delivered the cross for the second goal and Collins, who played an instrumental role in the Shrews' giant-killing run in this season's Carling Cup, completed his hat-trick in the 34th minute.

Everton defender Shane Duffy rounded off the scoring shortly before half-time with a powerful header and, though there was no addition to the score in the second period, Ireland were able to celebrate a comfortable win.


From Belfast Telegraph