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Irish U16 boys and girls find it hard in Belgium

By Graham Hamilton

Ireland's Under-16 boys and girls had a difficult start to their Six Nations tournament in Belgium when both conceded at least eight goals against the strong Dutch teams.

The girls, coached by Ulster woman Ali McNeill, were crushed 9-0 by the Netherlands after conceding five goals in the first-half and four in the second.

McNeill said: “We started well enough but they scored four times in the space of 10 minutes and it was always going to be hard to recover after that.”

“But the Dutch game was always going to be the toughest of the five and we’ll be hoping for a better outcome against Belgium in our next match.”

The boys, coached by Niall Denham and with seven from Ulster in their ranks, fared little better and went down 8-2.

Both teams face the hosts today, Germany on Wednesday, England on Friday and Spain on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Irish senior men’s team were kitted out yesterday for their trip to Rio and got a send-off at Dublin’s Carton House. The squad, with nine Ulstermen on board, fly out to Argentina and then on to Rio, with their first game on August 6.

TODAY: Boys: Belgium v Ireland (1.30pm); Girls: Belgium v Ireland (5pm)

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