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Northern Ireland 1 (Mackin 39) Scotland 5(Cornet 7, Rafferty 11, Walker 24, 40, 76)
Scotland tightened their grip at the top of UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship qualifying Group One after a hat-trick from Alyshia Walker helped secure a comfortable 5-1 win against Northern Ireland at North Lodge Park.
The Celtic player's three strikes, accompanied by goals from captain Georgie Rafferty and Chelsea Cornet, marked another thrilling display by Pauline Hamill's side in Aberdeenshire. With Czech Republic beating Montenegro 11-0 in the group's other match, the top two qualifying positions will be decided after the last round of matches on Wednesday.
Unlike Friday's 5-1 win against Montenegro, Northern Ireland presented a more physical challenge to the tournament hosts, but the creative ability of this young group of players shone through as Scotland made it ten goals in two games.
Scotland dominated possession in the early exchanges. Erin Cuthbert, in similar style to Friday's match against Montenegro, was pulling the strings in the middle of the park. She released Courtney Whyte early on down the right who produced a shot from 20 yards which had to be beaten away by the Northern Ireland goalkeeper.
It didn't take long for Scotland to take the lead. In the seventh minute, Cornet struck from 20 yards out into the top right corner for the opening goal.
Only five minutes later, Scotland doubled their advantage when Rafferty's free kick from the left looped into the net.
Scotland's dominance continued as Northern Ireland struggled to get out of their half. Carla Jackson was close to scoring with a low drive 18 yards out, but it was saved well. However it was 3-0 in the 24th minute when Walker netted from an acute angle at close range.
Northern Ireland's biggest threat, Aimee Mackin, who scored a hat-trick against Czech Republic on Friday, got on the scoresheet just before half time with a fine long range strike.
Scotland responded straight after when Walker scored with a finish from ten yards for her second. She was full of attacking intent throughout.
The second half was a tighter affair as Northern Ireland tried to claw back the deficit. Mackin had a shot saved well by local girl Rebecca Flaherty.
Kirsty Howat - who scored twice in Friday's match against Montenegro - was one-v-one against the goalkeeper but her effort was blocked well. Carla Boyce was inches away from scoring when her close range header went narrowly over the bar.
Buchan's Louise Brown, on at half time for Chantelle Brown, made some impressive runs down the left hand side but her crosses were cleared well by a Northern Ireland defence much improved after the first half.
The home stand was full of supporters urging Scotland to make it five. Walker had them on their feet in admiration minutes from the end with a superb free kick which went over the goalkeeper's head and into the net to complete her hat-trick.
Northern Ireland: Jessica Poots, Hannah Doherty, Sarah Haddock, Clara Forbes, Chloe McGlade, Chloe McCarron, Amy Burden (sub Samantha Kelly 32mins), Sarah Connolly, Annie Timoney (sub Victoria Carleton 53mins), Aimee Mackin, Emma McFarland. Subs not used: Kirsty McCaughtry, Leanne Domican, Taylor Wright, Chelsea Myles, Eimhear O'Prey.
Scotland: Rebecca Flaherty, Courtney Whyte, Sarah Clelland, Georgie Rafferty, Abigail Harrison, Chelsea Cornet (sub Dana Baird 67mins), Kirsty Howat (sub Carla Boyce 51mins), Alyshia Walker, Carla Jackson, Erin Cuthbert, Chantelle Brown (sub Louise Brown 41mins). Subs not used: Murren Stevenson, Sarah Robertson, Cassie Cowper, Lia Tweedie.
(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)
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