Northern Ireland Under-16s ended their Victory Shield campaign on a high as two goals from Callum Burnside led them to a 2-0 win over Wales at Waterford.
he Linfield midfielder netted a brace to ensure the minor side finished the tournament with a win for their efforts after defeats to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in their opening two games.
Manager Kris Lindsay will no doubt be very proud of his side’s efforts, especially as they came within minutes of beating the Republic on Wednesday before comfortably taking the Welsh into account.
And he has a few stars on his hands, including double goalscorer Burnside, Glenavon’s Christopher Atherton and English duo Will Murdock (Manchester United) and Oscar Kelly (Rochdale).
It took just six minutes for Burnside to find the winner against Wales, with the Blues man converting his own free-kick just outside the box after being fouled by Welsh skipper Makenzie Bradbury.
Indeed, it was a game where the majority of chances went Lindsay’s men way as Burnside had a corner hit off the crossbar, Atherton had a goal ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper and Ceadach O ‘Neill and Noah McDonnell both had recorded efforts.
But the second goal would come and it would be Atherton and Burnside connecting, the former putting the ball into the box for the latter to convert for the clincher.
It only remained for Glenavon keeper Joshua Gracey to complete his clean sheet and he did so with ease, guiding the efforts of Charlie Stevens and Josh Gentles to ensure he was not beaten.
Unfortunately, the three points weren’t enough for Northern Ireland to clinch the title, with that honor going to the winner of the game between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, but it was a brave challenge on the part of the under 16 years old.
In their opener, Northern Ireland were beaten 3-1 by Scotland, before being beaten on penalties by the Republic after holding the hosts to a 1-1 draw in the their second game.