Ireland women score big win ahead of visit to table toppers

Sue Ronan’s side ran out easy victors against Montenegro ahead of their visit to Spain

Montenegro 0 Republic of Ireland 5 (Quinn 3', O'Gorman 24', Littlejohn pen 26', D O'Sullivan 73', Roche 84')

The Irish women's team improved their position in the European Championship Group Two table ahead of next week's visit to top seeds Spain with a big win over Montenegro whose goalkeeper, Jovana Bajetic, played a big part in keeping the scale of the victory down.

Julie-Ann Russell gave the locals problems all afternoon and it was her cross to the far post after a third minute short corner that set up Louise Quinn for the opening goal. Aine O'Gorman doubled the margin midway through the half and when Armisa Kuc took O'Gorman down inside the area, Ruesha Littlejohn pushed her penalty beyond Bajetic and into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 3-0 with 26 minutes played.

Overall, Ireland had 29 attempts on goal to the locals' seven and two of the team's substitutes, Denise O'Sullivan and Stephanie Roche, added goals in the second half to wrap up what was a record equaling victory for the team.

The win keeps Ireland firmly in contention for second spot in the group with another of the contenders, Portugal, due to face Spain on Friday. Finland, who currently lie second, on the same points as Sue Ronan's but with a game in hand, travel to Montenegro next week while Emma Byrne and co. head to Madrid where even a point would probably be regarded as a significant bonus.

Republic of Ireland: Byrne, Perry, Fahey, Quinn, De Burca; Caldwell, Duggan; McCabe, O'Gorman, Russell; Littlejohn. Subs: Roche for McCabe (half-time), F O'Sullivan for O'Gorman (62mins), D O'Sullivan for Caldwell (72 mins).

Montenegro: Bajetic, Radanovic, Mrkic, Djurkovic, Vidic; Kuc, Vulic; Popovic, Djokovic, Bojat; Bulatovic. Subs: Zlaticanin for Popovic (half-time), Miljanic for Bojat 70 mins, Bozic for Vidic (89 mins).

Referee: D Milkova (Bulgaria).