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Nicholl's girls in the mood to hit back

Northern Ireland Under-17s will take on the Czech Republic this morning (10am) looking to hit back in style after crashing to a 6-0 defeat to hosts Austria on Saturday.

The girls are aiming to impress in a qualifying round mini tournament and their final game will be against Ukraine on Thursday (5pm).

Goalkeeper Kirsty McCaughtry produced heroics for Northern Ireland despite the heavy loss against the top seeds who finished fifth in the finals of the previous tournament.

With seven of that Austrian squad selected this time around, it was always going to be tough for the inexperienced visitors who were 3-0 down at the break.

But the girls' work-rate was impressive and McCaughtry caught the eye with some crucial saves.

Manager Alison Nicholl said: "This was a very tough opening game against the top seeds who were technically and physically superior.

"Our girls will hopefully have learned a lot from playing a quality side who did so well in the finals of last year's competition.

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"Credit to our young girls who fought hard to the last whistle and never let their heads drop during the game."


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