Another Kerr side wins a trophy

 

A David Beckham-style goal from Andy Reid was the highlight as the Republic of Ireland under-16s beat England to win the Nordic Cup in Akureyri, Iceland at the weekend.

It was manager Brian Kerr's fourth trophy in five months, after European Championship wins at under-16 and under-18 levels and victory in a tournament in Porto with the under-18s in March.

Striker Robert Doyle, whom Kerr regarded as his player of the tournament, gave Ireland the lead in the 10th minute when he headed home Reid's cross for his third goal of the competition.

A defensive error gifted England their equaliser two minutes into the second half when Leon Knight scored the first of a brace. But Reid struck back straight from the kick-off when, catching England goalkeeper Craig Woodinan off his line, he chipped him from the half-way. It was in no way a fluke as it was an identikit of a goal he scored for Cherry Orchard in last season's semi-final of the SFAI under-15 Cup.

England rallied again and once more availed of another defensive mistake by Ireland when Knight equalised again on 53 minutes.

Nine minutes later Ireland's dominance was rewarded when they deservedly restored their lead when skipper Clifford Byrne arrived unchallenged at the back post to side-foot home Colin Larkin's corner.

"I think the FAI will have to build another trophy room in Merrion Square if we keep going on like this," joked a delighted Kerr.

"We were comfortable in the first half and played well, deserving to score even before we did. We were always composed and looked dangerous, especially on the flanks with Andy Reid and Colin Larkin.

"We made some mistakes as we tired and that resulted in us giving away some terrible goals. But I always felt we were going to win.

"England were a good passing side, the best we met in the tournament, but we should have beaten them by more.

"We came here to have a good look at what we had at this age group and not just to win the tournament. In that regard, it's been a very worthwhile exercise. It was a good tournament and great experience for the players. To have won it is very nice and an added bonus."

Republic Of Ireland: Harpur (Chelsea); Van Zanten (Tolka Rovers), Byrne (Sunderland), Coleman (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Murray (Blackburn Rovers); Larkin (Muirhevnamor), Lester (Everton), Reid (Nottingham Forest); Doyle (Ardmore Rovers), Creamer (Leeds United), Cawley (Leeds United). Subs: Daly (Kilnamanagh) for Van Zanten (55 mins), Melligan (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Creamer (65 mins), McNamara (Nottingham Forest) for Larkin (79 mins).

England: Woodinan (Bristol City); Brew- ers (Aston Villa), Coates (Manchester United), Cooke (Manchester United), Duncan (QPR), Edwards (Aston Villa), Keenan (Chelsea), Knight (Chelsea), Russell (Middlesbrough), Thornton (Chelsea), Willetts (Everton). Subs: Defoe (Charlton) for Thornton (46 mins), Britton (Arsenal) for Cooke (48 mins), Daws (Liverpool) for Edwards (60 mins), Nardiello (Manchester United) for Coates (65 mins).