Isle of Man-2
He couldn’t quite make it as a League of Ireland hero, but Stephen Donnelly claimed International stardom today.
The Usher Celtic front man made the brave decision to leave boyhood team Bohemians in recent months and returned to the AUL and the Junior ranks.
A call up to Gerry Davis Quadrangular side followed and the gifted front man won Ireland a dramatic back and forth encouther against the Isle of Man on his International debut.
The sides had traded two goals apiece in an exciting opener and a draw looked on the cards as a result, but Donnelly had the final say.
The front man raced on to a Shane Clarke flick on to fire home and get Ireland off to a perfect start.
Ireland, who started with the this 11, started positively and were a goal to the good seconds before the clock clicked past 30 minutes.
A neat passage of play afforded Janesboro’s Shane Clarke with a shooting opportunity and the Limerick scoring legend was never going to miss.
To their credit the Isle of Man responded well and scored thanks to after a cross from the right flank wasn’t clear with sufficient distance- Josh Thomas with the finish on 39 minutes.
The sides went in level at the break, but Gerry Davis Ireland were ahead again five minutes after the turn. Another neat passing move in opposition territory opened up the Isle of Man and Eoin Hayes eventually founded the net checking before firing home a rebounded effort.
True to the nature of the tie the Isle of Man responded again and within 9 minutes restored parity this time target man Sean Boyle finishing well.
A draw looked likely as the clock ticket past 80 minutes, but Donnelly popped up with a winner as the reigning champions got off to a winning start.