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Barnet youngster scores twice as Ireland defeated by U21s in training match

Mick McCarthy’s side were overcome after Jack Taylor hit a brace.

The Irish senior side were beaten by their U21 counterparts.
The Irish senior side were beaten by their U21 counterparts.
Image: Harry Murphy/SPORTSFILE

THE IRISH SENIOR team lost a 90-minute training match 2-1 against their U21 equivalents at the FAI National Training Centre today.

Scott Hogan opened the scoring, before two goals from Barnet midfielder Jack Taylor sealed a victory for Stephen Kenny’s side.

Taylor got his first just after Hogan’s opener, before the player’s deflected effort went past goalkeeper Sean McDermott in the dying moments of the game.

“They played well, we had plenty of chances to score but then they won it with a deflected goal. I thought Conor Kearns was excellent, he made four or five really good saves, maybe we should have put them away but they were excellent saves,” Irish boss Mick McCarthy said afterward.

We made changes at half-time and it was about getting minutes into the legs for the players, even if it meant playing a few of them out of position. The real plus point is that nobody got injured, everyone got 45 minutes and were made to work hard, which is great for us.

“And I hope it makes the players realise how difficult the next two games are going to be, because the U21s played well and that was hard work for the team today.”

“We’ve had eight players come into the squad for the first time and we played two different XIs, so it was two very good performances from both teams in each half,” added Kenny, whose squad are set to fly out to France for the Toulon Tournament.

We were looking for a high level of performance and to get through the game without injury, so it was a great exercise for both teams. It is up a couple of levels playing the senior team, so they acquitted themselves really well.

“We’ve got tough opposition next week, China and Mexico are bringing their Olympic squads, so we’ve got to get ready for that test and this was the perfect preparation for that.”

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Paul Fennessy

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