Amongst the controversy of "football apartheid" in Ireland, the high number of player absences and the pointlessness of the Nations Cup, the Republic of Ireland put in a confident performance on Tuesday night to dispatch their rivals north of the border.
Northern Ireland actually started the brighter of the two sides with young Wolves winger Johnny Gorman striking narrowly over as the ball came to him from a free kick however it didn't take the Irishmen long to get into their stride as Andrews rattled the crossbar from on 16 minutes. Ward eventually gave Ireland the lead less than 10 minutes later from a corner which he himself had won and they were three up before the half-time whistle through mistakes by Hodson and Cathcart.
Things went from bad to worse for the Ulstermen after the break as the home side continued to run riot at the Aviva stadium. Pressure culminated in a penalty for Ireland and a harsh red card for Thompson. The fifth was added later on in the game when Cox made a mockery of the Northern Irish defence and a Stephen Hunt strike which hit the woodwork only showed that perhaps Nigel Worthington's men were lucky it was only 5-0.
Overall this was a young Northern Ireland side who were never going to win. The inexperienced players such as Hodson were often caught out of position and the defence as a whole was no match for, what was at times, magical Irish combination play. An unfortunately easy derby game for the Republic but as the football saying goes; you can only beat the team put in front of you.