Dillon Sheridan is the name on everyone’s lips this week as the talented 19-year-old drilled home another hat-trick of goals this morning to send his side to a comprehensive 4-1 over the USA.
The game, which was Ireland’s last game in the CP Football Pre-Paralympic Games tournament in Salou, Spain, was a play-off for fifth and sixth place, and saw a very impressive performance from all areas of the pitch from the boys in green.
Sheridan was the hero of the hour having netted three goals before the break ensuring his place as the tournament’s top goal scorer, while Tom Badun secured Ireland’s fourth goal just before the full-time whistle, while earlier on, an own goal for Ireland gave the USA their only glimmer of hope in a game that was completely dominated by the talented Irish squad.
Brilliant performances from Luke Evans, Gary Messett, Joe Markey and Conor Tuite kept any hint of an American offensive break at bay, and with the fire power of Sheridan and later, Badun, up front, Ireland quickly sealed their third consecutive victory to claim fifth in the tournament – behind Great Britain (fourth) and the Netherlands (third), with Brazil and Ukraine fighting it out for top honours.
Earlier games this week saw them lose out to Brazil (3-0) and Great Britain (3-1) before hitting a winning streak against the USA (twice: 5-0, 4-1) and Argentina (3-0).
During the tournament the official draw for Rio 2016 was also made, which saw Ireland placed in Group A alongside Brazil, Great Britain and Ukraine.
Speaking today, Team Manager Barry Ferguson stated: “We’re delighted with how the tournament has gone, the performance level of the players was very high, and one of the main goals of coming here was to learn as much as we could about ourselves, and about our opposition – and that goal was achieved.
“Our focus turns to Rio now, with the confirmation of the group yesterday, we have a big task ahead of us, but I feel that what we have learned at this tournament will help us a great deal with our Rio preparations,” he concluded.
The Irish team will arrive home to Dublin Airport on Sunday, May 8th at 6.30pm to Terminal 1. Fans are asked to come down to welcome the talented squad home.
IRELAND (starting team v the USA): Simon L’Estrange, Luke Evans, Joe Markey, Conor Tuite, Gary Messett, Dillon Sheridan, Darragh Snell. Subs used: Peter Cotter for Snell, Tom Badun for Sheridan.