Wales Learning Disability Squad secure best ever home nations finish
26 April 2017

Wales Learning Disability Squad secure best ever home nations finish

A superb finish made possible by some excellent performances

The Wales U19 Learning Disability Team finished second in their annual home nations tournament thanks to two excellent victories in Ireland.

The talented squad, pulled together by a series of trials in Cardiff, arrived in Dublin hopeful of a best ever finish and didn't disappoint, despite having to bounce back from an opening day hammering by Scotland.

No fewer than 10 international debuts were handed out during that game and the results that followed it were testament to how the team grew into the tournament.

Here's the story of how the boys did it...

Scotland 4–1 Wales

Wales scorer - Sion Jones

Opening day nerves got the better of the team in their inaugural international outing after Sion Jones shocked the strong Scottish team with an early opening goal.

But as the game wore on, the eventual winners showed their class and went on to win 4-1.

Republic of Ireland 0–3 Wales

Wales Scorers Sion Jones (2) and Mason Delnevo

There were joyous scenes in Dublin as this fledgling Wales team recorded their first ever win, with a resounding result against the hosts.

Sion Jones was the star, adding two more goals to his account before rounded things off for Mike Parry's team.

Goalkeeper Patrick Hicks came in for special praise though, for keeping his first ever clean sheet in competitive international fixture.

Northern Ireland 1–5 Wales

Wales Scorers: Sion Jones, Dylan Hughes (2), Will Davies and Xavier Matisse

Scoring sensation Sion Jones wrapped up the tournament's golden boot with another goal in a powerful performance against Northern Ireland but captain Sean Kelly was the driving force behind this wonderful win.

The Northern Irish midfield couldn't cope with the Welsh playmaker as the goals flew in from all angles.

Jones' goal was added to by a thumping header from WIll Davies and two fine individual goals from Dylan Hughes before Xavier Matisse completed the rout.

At the end of the successful tournament, Head Coach Mike Parry said: "I was very proud of the character shown by the players during the week after an early set back losing to the eventual tournament winners.

"Winning two games was fantastic, having never won a game previously in this tournament.

"The boys took the spirit of last summer’s Euro 2016 success and wore the Wales shirt with pride and passion, which inspired them to achieve our best ever finish in this annual tournament."

Squad List

Patrick Hicks
George Archer
DJ Povey
Will Davies
Ryan Cook
Jake O’Brien
Xavier Matisse
Curt Taverner
Sion Jones
Sean Kelly
Mason Delnevo
Jed Smith
Josh Lawrence
Jordan Wright
Dylan Hughes
Cawley Valance
Jamie Hall
Bradley Lawrence

Wales Learning Disability Squad secure best ever home nations finish
Wales Learning Disability Squad secure best ever home nations finish