Payne strikes as Ireland girls reach European Finals

PEAMOUNT United’s Heather Payne struck the all-important goal in the Republic of Ireland Under 17 Women’s team’s 1-0 victory over Hungary that secured them further passage to this summer’s UEFA European Champion-ship Finals.

After having seen off Serbia 1-0 in their opening Group Four fixture before battling out a scoreless draw with Scotland, Dave Bell’s side knew a win against the Hungarians could rocket them through to the Finals.

Peamount V Wexford 07

And they achieved just that with Payne finding the back of the net with a sublime free kick after 13 minutes.

Delighted with his side’s achievement, Bell said “The girls worked so hard and the dedication that they gave to these qualifiers is testament to their attitude and also their quality.

“To qualify as group winners makes it even more enjoyable. We had to work hard to get the win because Hungary gave us a good game and I have to give credit to them because they are a very good side.

“We have had so many players step up in this qualifying campaign, but I can’t praise our captain, Tiegan Ruddy, enough and also Sadhbh Doyle and Heather Payne. Those three girls guided the younger girls through and they were a big help to me.”

Peamount did enjoy strong representation in this Ireland squad with Chloe Singleton, Aisling Spillane, Gillian Keenan, Doireann Fahy and Carla McManus among Payne’s clubmates who were selected for the panel.

And they will be hoping to play their part in the Finals, the draw for which will take place on April 7, with the competition being staged in Czech Re-public from May 2-14.

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