Wales National LD Squad Taste Success in Belfast
25 April 2014

Wales National LD Squad Taste Success in Belfast

Over the Easter period the Wales Learning Disability team travelled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to take part in the LD Home Nations competition. This was the first time Wales had competed at the event.

Over the Easter period the Wales Learning Disability team travelled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to take part in the LD Home Nations competition. This was the first time Wales had competed at the event.


A brief match report from each fixture can be found below:

Date: Tuesday 22nd April 2014
Venue: Billy Neill Complex, Belfast
Result: Wales 4-2 Republic of Ireland
Wales Goals: Abdel Boulaiche, Ryan Garland 2, Coby Mardenborough

In the first game of the tournament Wales were very patient against a very well organised ROI team and there were excellent contributions from both teams throughout the game. Wales moved the ball intelligently for the opening 20 minutes before Abdel Boulaiche opened the scoring from Coby Mardenborough's cut back that came from an excellent passage of play. Wales then scored twice within four minutes through a penalty and a free kick from Ryan Garland.

In the second half ROI played their way back into the game and scored with a well-taken goal. Possession was quite even until Dan Thomas started to find dangerous spaces between the ROI players creating several scoring opportunities. Dan eventually played a large part in Coby Mardenborough's first international goal. ROI set up an exciting finish when they scored from the edge of the box but Wales defended very well with the entire back four concentrating and communicating effectively with Mike Gee standing out. When the Welsh defence was breached, Josh Roberts made a great save to see out the game and secure the Welsh squad’s first ever international victory.

Date: Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Venue: Billy Neill Complex, Blefast
Result: Wales 7-1 Northern Ireland
Wales Goals: Ryan Garland 3, Abdel Boulaiche 3, Coby Mardenborough 1

Wales settled very well and maintained possession in this, their second game of the tournament. An early goal came after Coby Mardenborough played a low pass from inside the penalty area for Ryan Garland to finish in the bottom corner. From here Wales passed the ball with quality for good spells resulting in a goal from Abdel Boulaiche after 21 minutes. Wales continued to pass the ball well and scored three goals in three minutes late in the first half to put the game out of reach.

After the interval Wales continued to work towards their passing targets, creating chances through the excellent Gareth Pewtner and Reiss Baksh-Jones overlapping from full back positions. They eventually saw the game out by taking their goal tally to seven with goals from Ryan Garland and Coby Mardenborough.

Date: Thursday 24th April 2014
Venue: Billy Neill Complex, Belfast
Result: Wales 1-1 Scotland
Wales Goal: Aaron James

This was a very tight game played by two very well organised teams. Scotland were compact and played very deeply, making it very difficult for Wales to create as many chances as in their previous two games. After patiently switching play through man of the match Zach Cleary, and the captain Alex Scandariato, Wales started to create gaps and quick combinations between Dan Thomas, Abdel Boulaiche and Coby Mardenborough saw a few chances start to come. Scotland opened the scoring with a well taken goal with 20 minutes to go which saw Wales make a few adjustments to allow Gavin Davies to carry the ball from centre-back deep into the Scotland half and also supply Zach Cleary with the ball in dangerous areas. Wales kept pushing and created a number of chances before scoring the equaliser in the last minute through Aaron James which was followed by a passionate celebration that showed the great spirit of the team.

It was great for the team to enjoy positive results and a successful tournament and it was equally as satisfying for the players to achieve all of their performance targets including breaking 500 passes in matches, set play clean sheets (3) and to create chances to score from cut backs and combinations.

The following players made their international debuts during the tournament:

Gavin Davies
Zach Cleary
Steven Hill-Clement
Jimmy Leake
Andrew Cribb
Jack Pyer
Aaron James