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Republic of Ireland suffer heavy defeat to England in Euros opener

Dave Bell’s side now face an uphill battle to progress from Group B in the Czech Republic.

fai Source: Twitter.com/FAIreland

THE REPUBLIC OF Ireland’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the 2017 Uefa Women’s U17 Championship were dealt a big blow when they kicked off their tournament today in the Czech Republic.

Dave Bell’s side suffered a 5-0 defeat to England in their opening Group B game in Pribram, which has put significant pressure on them to achieve positive results against Norway and the Netherlands in order to progress to the knockout stages of the eight-team competition.

Poppy Pattinson struck in the ninth minute to give England the lead but Ireland responded well to that early setback, with Megan Mackey, Isibeal Atkinson and Carl McManus all threatening as they searched for an equaliser.

However, Ireland were given a mountain to climb as half-time approached. Beth O’Donnell doubled England’s lead with four minutes to go until the interval, before Jessica Ngunga scored their third before the referee could blow for the break.

Lauren Hemp grabbed England’s fourth within a minute of the restart and Nicole Douglas sealed a comprehensive win for the English with 16 minutes of normal time remaining.

Ireland, who qualified at the expense of Scotland, Hungary and Serbia, will face Norway in Plzen on Friday before taking on the Netherlands in Domazlice on Monday. The Dutch were 3-1 winners against the Norwegians earlier today.

Republic of Ireland: Erica Turner (UCD Waves), Sadhbh Doyle (Galway WFC), Roisin McGovern (Enniskerry), Lauryn Grier (Kentstown Rovers), Heather Payne — captain (Peamount United), Doireann Fahey (Peamount United), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Isibeal Atkinson (Enniskerry), Alannah McEvoy (Enniskerry), Carla McManus (Peamount United), Megan Mackey (Chelsea LFC). Subs: Aisling Spillane (Peamount United) for Atkinson (57), Orla Casey (Evergreen) for Payne (67), Phoebe Warner (West Bromwich Albion) for Fahey (74).

England: Hannah Hampton (Birmingham City), Poppy Pattinson (Sunderland), Shannon Cooke (Arsenal), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Nicole Douglas (Chelsea), Emily Syme (Bristol City), Lauren Hemp — captain (Bristol City), Grace Neville (Millwall), Amy Rodgers (Liverpool), Jessica Ngunga (Arsenal), Beth O’Donnell (Manchester City). Subs: Emily Ramsey (Manchester United) for Hampton (49), Ella Rutherford (Millwall) for Hemp (54), Olivia Smith (Chelsea) for Morgan (65).

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Paul Dollery

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