OISIN MERRITT was among the goals as the Republic of Ireland CP team got off to a stunning start to their IFCPF World Cup campaign.
Merritt netted one of the Irish goals in a 10-0 victory over Finland in Seville.
Captain Gary Messett and Cherry Orchard’s Dillon Sheridan netted a hat-trick each with Merritt, Aaron Tier, Ryan Nolan and a Finnish own goal rounding up an impressive victory for Paul Breen’s side.
Ballybofey United man Merritt was selected as part of the 14-man Irish squad by manager Breen.
Last year, Ireland were bronze medallists at the European Championships with Merritt also involved.
Merritt had to have part of his skull replaced after a fall from a balcony in Spain in June, 2014, but in April 2017 he was given the go-ahead to return to competitive sport.
Merritt was dubbed ‘The Miracle Man’ by doctors at Son Espases Hospital in Palma after a fall that saw him suffer a broken skull, a broken bone at the top of his neck, five breaks in his jaw, a broken cheekbone, a ruptured spleen and permanent deafness in his left ear.
Yesterday, Ireland were three goals up by half time with Messett getting two and Rathmichael FC’s Ryan Nolan finding the target.
Knowing that goal difference could be a factor to seal qualification from the group, Ireland went on the hunt for more goals and they did so in devastating fashion.
Sheridan hit a second-half hat-trick as they scored a further seven to open their World Cup campaign in style.
Next up for the Boys in Green is one of the tournament favourites Iran and head coach Paul Breen warned his side will face a much different test. He said: “I’m delighted with the win and I’m pleased with some of the football that we played. Gary (Messett) was central to our creativity and that allowed others to go on and score.
“This is a very tight group and it could come down to the USA game on Friday and so the players were fully aware that goal difference could be a factor. There was no let-up in the second half from the lads and it’s the best possible way to start a World Cup.
“Iran are a very strong team and it will be a totally different challenge to Finland. We know that and it’s down to us to go out there and show what we can do.”Tags: