The Republic of Ireland Schools team took on Australia in a friendly at the weekend and a Laois youngster was involved.
Crettyard’s Peter Grogan, who goes to school in Carlow CBS, was selected for this squad.
The teenager, who plays for Bohemians, started up front in his international debut.
Ireland were on the front foot from the start and Grogan forced the Aussie keeper into a fine save just before the half time break with the game scoreless.
But Grogan was involved in the opening goal which arrived in the 51st minute.
His excellent pass set up Eoin Kenny of St. Mary’s College, Dundalk to nett a fabulous opener at the far post from 6 yards out.
However the celebrations were short lived as Will Freney equalised two minutes later with a sublime set piece to the top corner.
The last quarter of play was broken up with more substitutions from both benches and this proved decisive.
Brian Cunningham (Presentation College, Headford) was only on the park 15 minutes when he struck what proved to be the match winner in the 90th minute.
An incredible team goal on the counter attack as Niall Holohan intercepted a Socceroo attack. T
he Leitrim man played the ball down the wing to Aidan Russell Vargas who fed Cunningham at the edge of the box. The young Athenry star struck to the far post as the ball bundled past the Aussie defense.
Australia’s substitute Davd Seselja thought he got an equaliser four minutes into added time but he was ruled to be off-side so Ireland held on for the win.
This was a nice start for the Irish as they make final preparations for the SAFIB Centenary Shield series opener away to Scotland on February 23.
Ireland will then face Wales at home on March 9 while England come to town a fortnight later.
The Irish campaign will conclude on March 30 when they travel to Blanchflower Stadium, home of H&W Welders FC to take on Simon Nicks’ side.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SCHOOLS SELECT: Ryan Delaney (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Jonathan Adedeji (St. Mary’s Secondary School, Edenderry), Eli Rooney (Summerhill College, Sligo), Niall Holohan (Carrick on Shannon Community School), Senan Mullen (St. Aidan’s Comprehensive School, Cootehill), Aaron Healy (Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig), Ryan McBrearty (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Adam O’Halloran (Clarin College, Athenry), Peter Grogan (St. Mary’s CBS, Carlow), Rhys Kelly-Noonan (Coláiste Mhuire, Crosshaven), Jesse Dempsey (C) (Wexford CBS)
AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS: Sebastian Arranz, Ryan Zanatta, Matej Busek, Ethan DeBono, Thomas Waddingham, Will Freney, Jesse Cameron, Cassidy Tanddo, Owen Henderson, Alexander Trajanoski, Liam Bonetug
SEE ALSO – Secondary school hurling final abandoned in Portlaoise after player taken to hospital