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Wales and Ireland draw blank
 Women's Football Wales International News - 2 Mar 2019
Wales 0 Republic of Ireland 0
Jayne Ludlow's Wales side were held to a goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in the side's first match since finding out their fate for the UEFA Women's EURO 2021 qualifying campaign.
Ludlow made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 against Italy in Cesena last month. Claire Skinner started her first game in goal since 2016 and Ffion Morgan and Kayleigh Green, who missed the match against the Azzurri through injury and suspension respectively, were in the starting eleven.
Both teams created chances in the opening twenty minutes, with the Republic of Ireland relying on the pace and power of striker Leanne Kiernan. Meanwhile defender Louise Quinn who was sent up to battle for the long throws sent in by Megan Campbell but the threat was managed by captain Sophie Ingle and her centre back partner Cori Williams.
Wales were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as a Kayleigh Green header was cleared off the line by keeper Marie Hourihan and minutes later a Jessica Fishlock volley flew inches over the crossbar.
As half time approached, Wales were unlucky yet again not to take the lead. Angharad James hit a half volley from a poorly cleared corner only to see her shot stopped on the line by full back Heather Payne.
Wales made several changes at the interval as Ludlow brought on Megan Wynne, Helen Ward and Grace Horrell as the Spanish heat took its toll. Minutes later Ward made a near-instant impact, meeting a flick on from Horrell but her shot in front of the goalkeeper hit the far post.
Colin Bell's Ireland side also had a new threat in the form of Amber Barrett who found herself through on goal on several occasions but failed to get the ball past goalkeeper Claire Skinner and into the back of the net.
With minutes remaining, Natasha Harding had the best chance of the game as the Reading midfielder dribbled through the Irish defence with determination. However she was unfortunate to find her shot placed too close to the keeper to find the back of the net.
The teams will meet again next Tuesday in Marbella for the second match of their double header.
Wales: Claire Skinner, Gemma Evans (sub Megan Wynne 45mins), Sophie Ingle, Cori Williams (sub Rhiannon Roberts 71mins), Hayley Ladd, Ffion Morgan (sub Loren Dykes 35mins), Angharad James (sub Kylie Nolan 55mins), Jessica Fishlock, Kayleigh Green (sub Helen Ward 45mins), Natasha Harding, Emma Jones (sub Grace Horrell 55mins). Subs not used: Laura O'Sullivan, Nadia Lawrence, Tamsyn Sibanda, Charlie Estcourt, Ella Powell, Gwen Davies.
Republic of Ireland: Marie Hourihan, Megan Connolly, Louise Quinn, Megan Campbell (sub Claire O'Riordan 42mins), Heather Payne, Harriet Scott, Niamh Fahey, Tyler Toland, Denise O'Sullivan, Katie McCabe, Leanne Kiernan (sub Amber Barrett 58mins). Subs not used: Grace Moloney, Eabha O'Mahony, Jessica Ziu, Courtney Brosnan, Niamh Farrelly, Emily Whelan.


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