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*Man of the match Stephen Chambers pictured with Eoin Hayes at the final whistle. 

EOIN HAYES scored the winning goal while captaining his country for the first time.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native Eoin was captain of the Republic of Ireland amateur side who defeated Northern Ireland in the first of a two leg encounter, played in Dungannon on Wednesday night.

Hayes struck the winning goal on thirty seven minutes in an excellent finish. The Newmarket Celtic striker has been a regular part of the national squad for the past six years and indeed has been an integral part of Gerry Davis’ side.

Their latest 1-0 follows back-to-back wins over Wales last month. Their return fixture against Northern Ireland is scheduled for Whitehall on Wednesday at 7:45pm.

Republic of Ireland: Gary Cunningham; Chris Smith, Lee McColgan, Jack McMullen, Adam Crowley, AJ O’Connor, Michael Fox, Stephen Chambers, Eoin Hayes, Eoin Murphy, Jimmy Mc Hugh

Subs: Aaron Humphreys, Garbhan Manley, Luke Casey, Shane Stritch, Brendan O’Connell, Jack Kelly

Northern Ireland: L Hunter; Alan McMurty, Jack Reilly, Dan McMurty, Sam Dinu, Richard Gowdy, Ciaran Hegarty, Brian Newell, Patrick Downey, Adam Neale, Brian McKervey.

Subs: Dean Smyth, Matthew Gorman, Matthew Devine, Aidan McNeill, Paul Maguire, Anthony Burns, Jack Rainey, Nathan Johnson, Charlie Dornan.

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