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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Rep of Ire U21 3-1 Scot U21
The young Irish were comfortable winners in Galway
A rampant first-half display from the Republic of Ireland ripped apart an under-strength Scotland Under-21.

John Fitzgerald headed the Irish ahead from close range after nine minutes but Craig Beattie levelled with a low shot past goalkeeper Wayne Henderson.

Paddy McCarthy put the home side ahead again with a far post header from a Glenn Whelan cross

Liam Kearney then set up Fitzgerald to bullet in his second header of the evening before the interval.

Early in teh game Scotland goalkeeper Craig Samson was called into action to block a Kevin Foley shot and he had to be alert again to deny Whelan from the resulting corner.

But the Kilmarnock goalkeeper was left helpless when Fitzgerald met a Foley corner to nod home.

Scotland hauled themselves back into the game after 13 minutes when Celtic striker Beattie cut into the box from the left before shooting home.

Five minutes later, Whelan flighted a free-kick into the box which was met by McCarthy to nod home at the far post.

They could have added to their lead when Kearney tried to lob the goalkeeper from 25 yards only to send the shot just over the crossbar.

Instead he had to settle for being the provider for the third goal. His cross from the right was met by Fitzgerald, who gave Samson no chance with his header.

Scotland could have reduced the deficit shortly after the restart when Gregor Robertson played a decent ball to Boyd but he failed to connect properly and hit the side netting.

Boyd had the chance to make up for his earlier miss when he met a Bryan Prunty cross only to see his header easily saved.

Ireland should have grabbed their fourth goal when Whelan threaded the ball through to Daryl Murphy only for him to fire over from six yards.


Republic of Ireland U21: Henderson, Kelly, Capper, Fitzgerald, McCarthy, Whelan, Foley, Potter, Daryl Murphy, Tabb, Kearney. Subs: Brennan, O'Brien, Dillon, Zayed, Brain Murphy, Foley-Sheridan, Dehan.

Scotland U21: Samson, Lawson, Lappin, Dowie, Robertson, McCunnie, Wilson, Morrison, Boyd, Prunty, Beattie. Subs: Smith, Fotheringham, Sweeney, Murray, Turner.

Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden)




SEE ALSO
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