Dream is over for U-19 heroes
IRELAND'S fairytale run in their debut appearance at the European U-19 Championships in Norway ended last night after they were beaten by a ruthless Netherlands side at the Mjondalen Stadium.
It was a disappointing end to a terrific tournament for Dave Connell's side ,who had gone through the group stages unbeaten, with victories over Spain, Sweden and England.
The star player for the Dutch was Bayern Munich Vivianne Miedema, who grabbed a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory.
The game was played in extreme heat, with the referee stopping the game for cooling breaks.
The Irish women were behind after just five minutes as Miedema was found by a brilliant long ball from Danique Kerkdijk, her shot was brilliantly saved by Brooke Dunne but she finished the rebound.
Vivianne Miedema turned provider for the second Dutch goal as she went on a mazy dribble before setting up Jeslynn Kuijpers who found the net after 34 minutes.
Both Miedema and Kujipers were involved in the third goal three minutes after half time and this time Kujipers found Miedema who tapped in from close range.
The game was over as a contest in the 55th minute as Miedema showed her coolness to complete her hat-trick in style.
Clare Shine was looking the most likely to grab a goal for Ireland and she forced Jennifer Vreugdenhil into a brilliant save on the hour mark.
Katie McCabe produced a brilliant touch to set up another chance with 10 minutes remaining but she dragged her shot wide.
Ireland did create more opportunities but couldn't find the net.
The Netherlands now advance to meet Spain in the final, after the Spanish beat hosts Norway in the other semi-final.