Ennis teenager Colm Walsh O’Loghlen started for the Republic of Ireland U18 side as they lost out to Australia in an international friendly at the weekend.
Hassan Jalloh came off the bench at the break to claim two second half goals and earn a 2-0 victory for the visiting Australia Schools at Home Farm FC, Whitehall.
Jalloh struck the opening goal just on the hour mark with a neat finish from close in, past the helpless Irish ‘keeper Paul Martin (Presentation De La Salle) after Trevor Ssemakula was allowed to easily get past the home defence. The second Australia goal arrived ten minutes later and again in a situation similar to the first score, the home defence were slow to react and Jalloh scrambled home from close range after Jake Trew had played him in on goal.
Defeat for the Irish in their first serious outing of the season may be a disappointing start with the Centenary Shield series coming up, but in truth, had their finishing been a bit more clinical they might have earned something from this game. Winger Neil Farrugia (St. Andrew’s College) had the bulk of their chances.
Farrugia and McDonald both went close on the resumption before the Irish were rocked by Jalloh’s two goals in a ten minute spell that quickly turned the game in favour of Australia. Although the home side showed plenty of effort and manager Paddy O’Reilly rang the changes, the lack of a clinical finisher let them down.
Now the Irish move on to play Wales in Dublin next month, their opening Centenary Shield fixture scheduled for the same venue on February 16th. Before that opener, O’Reilly will have one last look at his provisional select as they take on St. Patrick’s Athletic in a trial game on February 9 in Abbotstown.
Walsh O’Loghlen who is a student at Rice College in Ennis was one of three players substituted at the break. He will be hoping to be included in the national squad for the upcoming Centenary Shield.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SCHOOLS: Paul Martin (Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown), Tunmise Sobowale (Mt Sion CBS Waterford), John Mahon (Coola Post Primary School, Sligo), Shane Blaney (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Darryl Walsh (St. Declan’s Community College), Alec Byrne (Carrigaline Community School), Colm Walsh O’Loghlen (Rice College, Ennis), Ronan Manning (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Michael Murphy (St. Paul’s College, Raheny), Neil Farrugia (St. Andrew’s College Blackrock); Seán McDonald (Clonkeen College, Blackrock).
SUBS: Neill Byrne (Dunshaughlin Community College) for Walsh O’Loghlen (h-t), Vinny Quinlan (Gorey Community School) – for Murphy (h-t), John Martin (Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown) – for Manning (h-t), James Carroll (St. Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda) – for Sobowale (62 mins), Jamie Bell (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar) – for P Martin (62 mins), Stephen Nolan (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall) – for Byrne (70 mins), Seán McBride ((St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar) – for McDonald (70 mins).
AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS: Domenic Nascimbin; Daniel Blachura; Mitch Dobson, Alex Gollan, Ben Morrison; Nathan Philips, Chris Heckenberg; Trevor Ssemakula, Zac Duncan, Oliver Puflett; Jake Trew.
SUBS: Hassan Jalloh (for Heckenberg h-t), Alex Malfara (for Blachura h-t), Angus Long (for Ssemakula 78 mins), Blake Currey (for Puflett 82 mins), Kieren Strachan (for Duncan 89 mins), Tilmann Stewart, Cooper Banks-Fay.
REFEREE: Mark McEvoy (Dublin)
Centenary Shield 2017 Fixtures
Thursday, February 16 Republic of Ireland vs Wales, Home Farm FC, Whitehall, Dublin
Thursday, March 2 Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland, Belfast
Thursday, April 6 Scotland vs Republic of Ireland, Stirling Albion
Thursday, April 13 Republic of Ireland vs England, Home Farm FC, Whitehall, Dublin