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Premiership

YOUNG STARS RETURN FROM INTERNATIONAL DUTY

13 Oct 2021
football
© David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press Portadown's Oisin Conaty scored the U19s winner against Kazakhstan

The cream of Northern Ireland's young home based talent are making their way back to their respective clubs following a busy few days of international action.

The U21s had no fewer than eight players from the Danske Bank Premiership and Lough 41 Championship on duty for the games away to Russia and Spain.

Linfield's Trai Hume started and played the full 90 minutes in both outings, the only player of the eight to do so. Kofi Balmer (Larne) and Ballymena United's Ryan Waide also started both with Balmer also playing the full 90 against Russia while being replaced by Kyle McClelland midway through the second half against the Spaniards in Seville. Waide was replaced just after the hour by Cliftonville's Paul O'Neill in both games.

Also playing his part in both games was Newry City's John McGovern, he came on for Paddy Lane with 11 minutes remaining against Russia and replaced the same player in the Spain game on 67 minutes.

Dungannon's Oisin Smyth was an unused sub against Russia but played the full second half against Spain, while Cliftonville keeper Declan Dunne and Linfield's Cameron Palmer were on the bench for both games.

Meanwhile, Portadown's Oisin Conaty was part of Gerard Lyttle's U19 squad for the European qualifying mini-tournament in the Czech Republic with the host nation, Denmark and Kazakhstan.

He came on as a late substitute in the opening game against the Danes, was an unused sub against hosts but came off the bench in the final game against Kazakhstan to score the winner with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.