Rockmount duo Murphy and Casey fire Ireland to victory over Wales

Rockmount duo Murphy and Casey fire Ireland to victory over Wales

Eoin Murphy, right celebrates his goal against Wales in their Uefa Regions Cup amateur international friendly at Turner's Cross .

Ireland 2

Wales 1

A ROCKMOUNT one-two helped Ireland to a 2-1 victory in their amateur international friendly with Wales at Turner’s Cross on Saturday.

A brilliant first-half goal by Eoin Murphy had put Ireland ahead, only to be surpassed by a glorious strike from his Rockmount team-mate Luke Casey in the second half after the home side had coughed up an own-goal equaliser in first-half injury-time.

The game was part of Ireland’s build-up to the Regions Cup qualifiers in Bulgaria in October, which will also include a trip to Wales next month for the return game.

Ireland had four Munster Senior League players in the starting 11, all from Rockmount — Murphy, Casey, Adam Crowley, and goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell who captained the side.

There were three other Cork players on the bench, Nathan Broderick, also of Rockmount, Avondale United’s Simon Falvey, and Coachford’s Adam Murphy, all of whom featured in the second half.

Wales had the first chance of note in the game, eight minutes, in when Dylan Allshorn broke on the left and fed Jamie Cumming inside. He did well to make space for the shot on the edge of the area, forcing O’Connell to stretch and tip the ball around the post for a corner.

Ireland’s Luke Casey skips past Wales’ Jake Cooke and Sam Rickett closes in during the Uefa Regions Cup amateur international friendly at Turner’s Cross. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Ireland’s Luke Casey skips past Wales’ Jake Cooke and Sam Rickett closes in during the Uefa Regions Cup amateur international friendly at Turner’s Cross. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Ireland then engineered several half chances, with Casey heavily involved. On 10 minutes a fine delivery from a free kick on the right needed a defensive header for a corner as Eoin Hayes looked set to pounce from close range.

Another Casey free, this time from the left, four minutes later, found the unmarked Jack McMullen at the far post, but his header went over the crossbar.

Wales centre-back Jordan Carrington was forced to head over his own crossbar from six yards as McMullen looked set to score following another Casey delivery from the left touchline near halfway.

Midway through the half Wales enjoyed a little purple patch; Callum Parry had a shot blocked by McMullen in the box after a loose backpass by Jack Park allowed Allshorn to set up his team-mate.

It was a let-off for Ireland and less than a minute later Parry had another effort well saved by O’Connell for a corner just before the water break which took the sting out of Welsh momentum and allowed Ireland to settle again.

After the resumption, Murphy combined with Jimmy Carr in midfield before the latter broke forward and shot from outside the box, but his effort lacked power and Cameron Darling saved easily.

On 35 minutes a moment of magic from Murphy broke the deadlock. Picking up possession in midfield, the Rockmount man beat a couple of defenders before planting the ball in the far corner from just outside the penalty area for a fantastic finish.

Feature

Wales centre-back Chris Cathrall’s long throws were a feature of the game and, in truth, the visitors’ main point of attack.

One such missile on 41 minutes caused confusion in the Ireland defence with O’Connell missing the ball and after a scramble in the box Parry got a touch that looked like taking the ball over the line, but Crowley made a fine goal-line clearance for a corner.

In injury-time Wales won another throw near halfway and this time Cathrall’s throw from halfway looked harmless, but McMullen misjudged his header and the ball went backwards, over O’Connell’s head and into the net.

The Irish players were clearly disappointed to have conceded such a soft goal, but the mood changed five minutes after the restart following a goal that is unlikely to be bettered at the Cross.

Casey picked up possession in space just inside the Welsh half and, taking a couple of strides forward, unleased a shot from over 30 yards that flew past Darling and into the top corner of the net.

Ireland’s Adam Crowley clears his lines as Callum Parry tries to pressure the defender during the friendly against Wales. 	Picture: Jim Coughlan
Ireland’s Adam Crowley clears his lines as Callum Parry tries to pressure the defender during the friendly against Wales. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Ireland had made three changes at the break, and nine in total and one of those subs, Avondale United’s Simon Falvey forced a terrific save out of Darling for a corner just before the hour mark while midway through the half another sub, Rockmount’s Nathan Broderick was denied in the penalty area by a Jake Cooke challenge following good play involving Falvey.

Both sides emptied their bench, which led to a scrappy second half overall. Wales relied heavily on Cathrall’s long throws into the penalty area, which the home side was now anticipating and they dealt with them capably.

The visitors did have a chance to snatch a draw late on when the lively Allshorn saw a long-range effort come back off the bar and fall nicely for Kyham Wyton but he pushed his close-range shot wide.

IRELAND: Brendan O’Connell, Lee McColgan, Adam Crowley, Jack McMullen, AJ O’Connor, Jimmy Carr, Eoin Murphy, Eoin Hayes, Luke Casey,, Derek Hyland, Jack Park.

Subs: Simon Falvey, Nathan Broderick, and Garry Gannon for Carr, Hyland, and Hayes (all h/t), Gary Cunningham for O’Connell (56), Chris Smith, Aaron Humphries, and Stephen Chambers for McMullen, Murphy, and Park (all 64), Mikey Fox and Adam Murphy for Casey and McColgan (69).

WALES: Cameron Darling, Jake Cooke, Ryan Colin, Chris Cathrall, Jordan Harrington, Sam Downey, Jamie Cumming, Callum Parry, Matty Hill, Dylan Allshorn, 16 Sam Rickett.

Subs: Osian Davies for Rickett (h/t) Ryhs Alan Williams for Colin (58), Leon Doran for Cumming (69), Kyam Wyton for Carrington (84).

Referee: Graham Kelly

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