Belfast Telegraph

Deja-vu for Northern Ireland Schoolboys as Victory Shield glory slips away against Wales

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland's Under-16 Schoolboys fell at the final hurdle as their bid to win the Victory Shield ended in heartbreak.

In almost identical circumstances to 12 months ago, they lost the final winner-takes-all battle with Wales, who won the trophy outright for only the third time.

After being locked at 1-1, Wales struck twice in the final few minutes of the contest to retain the title.

Scotland missed their chance to put pressure on Northern Ireland and Wales when a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland earlier in the day ended their hopes of finishing top of the group.

That result was positive for Jim Magilton's team as it meant a draw would be enough for them to get their hands on the trophy as outright winners, but they suffered an early setback when Sion Spence scored the opener for Wales.

Joshua McEneff did give Northern Ireland hope when he levelled things up with a stunning strike from the edge of the box just before half-time.

Had things stayed like that, Northern Ireland would have won the Victory Shield for the first time since 2000, but Rabbi Matonda put Wales ahead with five minutes to go and their success was sealed when and Steffan Buckeley made it 3-1 a couple of minutes later.

RESULTS: Scotland 1 Republic of Ireland 1, Northern Ireland 1 Wales 3.

FINAL PLACINGS: 1: Wales (6 points), 2: Northern Ireland (4 points), 3: Scotland (4 points), 4: Republic of Ireland (2 points).

Belfast Telegraph


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