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'We are absolutely elated' - Three wins from three sees Ireland U17s ease into Euro Elite Round
21 goals scored and none conceded as James Scott’s young guns finished top of their group.

THEY HAD ALREADY sealed their spot in the Uefa Women’s U17 European Championship Elite Round, but Ireland’s young guns signed off from the Qualifying Round in style, topping their group after a 5-0 win over Greece.

ireland111 https: / / Celebrating after today's match. https: / / / /

Today’s result at the Alytus Stadium made it three wins from three for James Scott’s side after 10-0 and 6-0 wins over Albania and hosts Lithuania respectively last week.

“Even though we had already qualified, we were determined to top the group and I think we can say we did it in style after today,” the delighted head coach said after today’s top-of-the-table Group 7 clash.

We are absolutely elated with how the round has gone for us. We’ve topped the group scoring 21 goals and conceding none, we couldn’t have asked for better than that.

Greece set up to stop Irish goals, and while it worked well for much of the first half, the Girls in Green soon broke the deadlock and then the floodgates opened afterwards.

Just before the break, Sion Swifts striker Kerry Brown hit a stunning strike from 30 yards to put Ireland 1-0 up before Aoibheann Clancy, Della Doherty, Kate O’Dowd and Becky Watkins added second-half goals.

The second and third efforts came from excellent Clancy corners; the first she scored herself as the clock struck 60 minutes, while captain Doherty made it 3-0 on the end of the other in the 74th minute.

Substitutes O’Dowd and Watkins put the icing on the cake with late efforts as the clock ran down.

“The girls have been absolutely top-class over the period,” Scott added afterwards. “I have to give a lot of credit to their coaches at home at their clubs for the work they do with them week in, week out. The girls are a credit to them.”

He also thanked the “impeccable” FAI staff that were in Lithuania with the group, while adding praise for Richie Berkeley and Sue Ronan who coached the players at younger age groups.

Now, the top two sides in each group plus the two third-placed teams with the best record against the top two in their section join top seeds Spain and holders Germany in the Elite Round draw on 21 November.

Then, the finals take place in Sweden with the hosts getting a bye to the eight-team tournament from 9 to 22 May 2020. It will also act as Europe’s qualifier for the 2020 Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup in India.

Republic of Ireland: Leah Hayes; Kate Slevin, Therese Kinnevey, Shauna Brennan; Aoibheann Clancy (Olivia Gibson 80’), Della Doherty, Muireann Devaney, Ellen Molloy (Kate O’Dowd 58’); Erin McLaughlin (Laura Shine 66’), Kerry Brown (Aimee Crosbie Bates 80’), Aoife Horgan (Becky Watkins 58’).

Former Ireland performance analyst and current coaching wizard of OZ Eoin Toolan joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to predict Ireland’s World Cup, break down every pool, and call the overall winners.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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