England 1 Ireland 3
CORK City duo Cathal Heffernan and Joe O’Brien Whitmarsh started for Ireland's U15 team as they rounded off a successful year with a 3-1 victory over England at St George's Park at the weekend.
Cathal Heffernan, a towering defender is the son of former Irish athletes Rob and Marian Heffernan, while Joe O'Brien Whitmarsh is the younger brother of Beneoin, who recently signed his first professional contract with Cork City's senior team.
Both players are highly regarded at Turner's Cross and their impressive showings with Ireland in recent months are proof that coming through the ranks with an Irish team can reap a reward.
Two goals from Shamrock Rovers forward Kevin Zefi and a strike from captain Caden McLoughlin was enough for Jason Donohue’s team to secure their sixth win in six games this season.
Ireland made a dream start after 30 seconds when they took the lead. Ireland kept possession from kick off and McLoughlin played in Zefi who beat the defender one-on-one and found the finish.
The visitors were dominant in possession against the hosts and caused England difficulties with their pressing game.
On the half-hour mark they made it 2-0 through McLoughlin. Good work through a combination of Adam Murphy and Zefi led McLoughlin to find the finish to double the visitors’ lead.
In the second half England found a way back into the game when a long-range effort by Zion Atta found the Irish net.
The game was a much more even affair but Zefi secured the victory in the 73rd minute when he pressed the backline went through one-on-one and cooly finished past the goalkeeper.
Ireland saw out the game to preserve their 100 per cent winning record for the season.
ENGLAND: Wooster; Silcott-Duberry, Scanlon, Gee, Dorrington (c); Sousa, Barker, Castledine; Donley, O’Reilly, Atta.
Subs: Cisse, Bellingham, Mithcell, Mendel-Idowu.
IRELAND: Walsh (O’Leary 74); Cowper Gray (Kelly 74), O’Brien (Hughes 74), Curtis, Heffernan; McManus, O’Brien Whitmarsh (Vata 55), Ferizaj; McLoughlin (c) (Nolan 74), Zefi (Tetteh 74), Murphy (Nugent 5).
Referee: Mark Wright