|FAI PRESS RELEASE
Thursday, 09 July 2015Irish Defence Forces beat UK Combined Armed ForcesIrish Defence Forces 4 UK Combined Armed Forces 1The Irish Defence Force Football Team produced an outstanding performance at St George’s Park, England to defeat the UK Combined Armed Forces 4-1 in a prestigious international friendly fixture this afternoon.
A hat trick by Chris Kenny of Wexford Youths and a goal by Aidan Friel from Athlone Town paved the way to victory in a match that was watched by England U21 manager Gareth Southgate.
The Irish team was drawn from the ranks of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps and got off to a great start after 13 minutes when Kenny calmly directed David Long’s cross to the UK net. Kenny was on the mark three minutes later when his blazing shot from outside the box gave the keeper no chance and Ireland held that 2-0 lead to the half-time break.
Ireland resumed the second half where they left off in the first and their high pressure game paid off with another two goals. First Kenny completed his hat-trick when he successfully converted from the penalty spot in the 55th minute and then Friel made it 4-0 when he rounded the keeper following good combination play and finished with ease.
The UK piled on the pressure in the final quarter in a bid to salvage something from the game and eventually got a consolation goal in the 80th minute through Jason Williams. But that was the only time they breached what was a solid defensive performance that laid the foundation for the memorable victory for the Defences Forces team.
“This was an historic event and to come away from the fixture with a 4-1 win is a fantastic result. Our defence was excellent and we were very good going forward. Chris Kenny took his hat-trick very well and the team fully deserved their victory. We have a young team and are currently building for the next European Military Championships so this result will be great for confidence,” said Ireland manager, Comdt Declan Sheridan.
Hat-trick hero Chris Kenny said: “This is one of the proudest moments of my soccer and Defence Forces career. It is an absolute privilege to represent my country.”
Irish Defence Forces: Kenneth Deegan (Sacred Heart); Jamie Enright (Carew Park), David Long (Collinstown), Lee Delaney (Callan United), Lee Grace (Wexford Youths); Niall Scullion (St Peter’s), Richie Barber (C) (St James’ Gate), Chris Kenny (Wexford Youths); Aidan Friel (Athlone Town), David O’Riordan (Newbridge Town), Jamie O’Neill (Athlone Town). Subs: Rickie Fox (Shamrock Rovers), Craig Wall (Wexford Youths), Craig Shortt (Birr Town), Tony Clarke (Merville Utd), Keith Arnold (Drogheda Town), Jamie Murphy (Rockmount), Thomas Culhane (Crewe Park), Steven Fisher (Woodview Celtic), Joe Watts (Willow Park), Joe Dillon (Stradbally Town).