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Northern Ireland land yet another Victory Shield blow in Scotland

The Northern Ireland Under-16 team recorded a famous success in the Sky Sports Victory Shield international against Scotland at St Mirren Park in Glasgow on Friday evening.

Goals by Liam McKenna and Jack White gave the Northern Ireland boys a well deserved win over the defending champions.

The visitors started brightly and should have gone ahead in the second minute. A cross by Cormac Lawlor found Jack Sharvin unmarked in front of goal, but the striker delayed and goalkeeper Aidan McAdams was quickly off his line to block Sharvin's shot. 

One minute later, Stephen Mallon saw his right foot drive from the edge of the box flash inches past the post. As Northern Ireland continued to dominate, Christopher Crane was just off-target with a drive from the edge of the box.

Scotland's first attack came after 17 minutes, but Lee Connolly's 25-yard effort flew over the bar. Ten minutes later, the home crowd thought that Scotland had scored, but Owen Gallacher's shot only found the side-netting.

Three minutes before the break, Northern Ireland deservedly went in front when Liam McKenna met a free kick by Mallon to plant his header into the corner of the net. On the restart, Scotland pushed forward but could make little impression on a solid defence, in which centre backs Christopher Crane and Lucas Galashan were outstanding. 

On 69 minutes, Northern Ireland doubled the lead. Substitute Niall Cassidy sent Lawlor away down the right and the captain's pin-point cross found left back Jack White, who netted with a powerful downward header.

In the closing stages, Scotland pressed strongly and Daniel Baur's header was cleared off the line by Galashan. On 80minutes, Conor Larkin produced a brilliant save to deny Gallacher.

One minute later, the keeper blocked a close range shot by Connor McLennan, but Jack Aitchison was on hand to force home the rebound. This was Northern Ireland's third win over Scotland in the last four years. The team's next challenge is against England at Stangmore Park, Dungannon on Friday November 7, kick off 7pm. 

The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association is offering free entrance to any school or youth group wishing to attend the game. Any group wishing to gain free entrance should send their details by email to Edwin Ferris, NISFA Treasurer, at edwinferris@yahoo.co.uk to obtain a group permit.

Northern Ireland: Conor Larkin, Cormac Lawlor, Jack White, Lucas Galashan, Matthew McKenna, Christopher Crane, Matthew Lynch, Stephen Mallon, Tre Sterling, Jack Sharvin, David Parkhouse. Subs: Reece McGinley (Sharvin 53), Niall Cassidy (Parkhouse 66), Christopher Gallagher (Lawlor 72)

Belfast Telegraph