Maguire shines as Irish go under to Aussies

Republic of Ireland2

Republic of Ireland2

Australia3

Kilkenny’s Sean Maguire gave a solid performance for the Republic of Ireland’s under-18 schools team, but couldn’t stop Australia from snatching the victory.

The Irish had a 2-1 advantage at the half-way stage, but couldn’t keep their interval lead as they lost their season opener at the Oscar Traynor Centre on Friday.

The Irish reacted strongly after falling behind to a Stefan Sacilotto goal five minutes after kick-off. Captain Colm Horgan hit the perfect reply, equalising eight minutes later from close range following good build-up play by Maguire, who was representing Kilkenny CBS.

Ireland then went 2-1 up when visiting goalkeeper Ryan Meskell caught Sean Russell’s 26th minute cross only to carry the ball over his goal-line.

It was the Socceroos who took control in the second half once captain Kieran Paull brought them level two minutes after the restart with a volley from outside the box.

Substitute Chernor Bah pounced on the hour to smash home the winner for the visitors.

Ireland begin their Centenary Shield campaign against Northern Ireland on March 16 at the home of Pike Rovers FC in Limerick.

Republic of Ireland - Comerford (CBS High School, Clonmel), Hyland (Oatlands College), Sweeney (Colaiste Raithlin, Bray), McMahon (St. Macarthan’s College, Monaghan), O’Donnell (Carrigaline CS), Horgan (Colaiste Einde, Salthill), Linehan (PBC, Cork), Molloy (Colaiste Iognaid, Galway), Russell (Colaiste Phadraig, Lucan), Maguire (Kilkenny CBS), Lehane (Douglas CS). Subs: Corbet (Clonaslee VS, Laois) for Comerford, Matthews (Clonkeen College) for Sweeney, Healy (CBS Sexton Street) for McMahon, Moffat (Clonkeen College) for Molloy, Brady (Pobalscoil Neasain, Balboyle) for Russell, Doherty (Comeragh College) for Maguire, Sheedy (Colaiste Iosaef, Kilmallock), for Lehane, all 46 mins; O’Connor (Drimnagh Castle) for Matthews, 72 mins.

Australia - Meskell; Maricic, Clements, Verdin, Knight, Keir, Paull, Sacilotto, Ilic, Denniss, Reus. Subs: Cooper, Witschge, Millar, Zico, Billic, Turnbull.

Referee - Damian Kilpatrick.