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Limerick players lead way as Rep of Ireland U17s qualify for European elite round

Limerick players lead way as Rep of Ireland U17s qualify for European elite round

The four Limerick-based players Aoibheann Clancy, Aoife Horgan, Jenna Slattery and Leah Hayes-Coen celebrate qualification for the Elite Round of UEFA Women’s U-17 Championships Picture: Dave Rooney

FOUR Limerick-based players contributed handsomely as the Republic of Ireland Women’s U-17 side qualified for the Elite Round of the UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship following a 6-0 win over Lithuania in Marijampole on Friday.

The Rep of Ireland U17s scored a resounding 10-0 victory over Albania in their opening qualifying fixture on Tuesday.

Ireland currently top Group 7 with a +12 goal difference over second placed Greece - who they face on Monday at 1pm Irish time.

Highly-rated shot stopper Leah Hayes-Coen, a student at Scoil Mhuire agus Íde, Newcastle West, who is playing with Cork City, started the game as goalkeeper for the Rep of Ireland side against Litguania on Friday, as did midfielder Aoibheann Clancy, from Kilbehenny, who is playing her club football with Limerick FC.

Clancy scored one of the Ireland goals, netting from the penalty spot in the second half after the visitors had stormed into a 4-0 half-time lead.

The talented teenager had also scored a stunning goal from all of 30 yards in the opening day win over Albania.

Defender Jenna Slattery, of Fairview Rangers, and Kerry native Aoife Horgan, of Limerick FC, were also introduced as second half substitutes in the game, with both players making impressive contributions to the win.

The WU17 squad includes players from 11 clubs and five new faces, including the highly rated Slattery, of Fairview Rangers.

The four Limerick-based teenagers have been part of the FAI North Munster Girls Centre of Excellence for the past four years and have all played Munster and Irish schools level too.

Aoibheann Clancy and Aoife Horgan were part of the Rep of Ireland U17 squad last year too, so they are experienced at the level.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U17S: Leah Hayes-Coen (GK), Kate Slevin (Aimee Crosbie Bates,76), Therese Kinnevey (Chloe McCarthy, 56), Della Doherty (C), Shauna Brennan (Jenna Slattery, 76), Aoibheann Clancy, Becky Watkins (Aoife Horgan, 66), Muireann Devaney (Olivia Gibson, 66), Erin McLaughlin, Ellen Molloy, Kerry Brown.

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