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Club NI off to super start with victory over Toulouse

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland's representatives started the Club NI International Cup at Greenmount Campus with a great performance, but had to go to penalties to beat the French FF's Toulouse academy.

Club NI had the better of the opening spell and after stealing possession away from the French, young Ben Gallagher fired a shot just wide of the target.

The Toulouse boys stepped things up, creating a number of half chances, and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Scott Pengelly saved another effort with a quality stop.

Ben Wylie shot over early in the second of the three periods and minutes later Northern Ireland counter attacked swiftly, the move ending with Carl Johnston forcing a good save from the French goalkeeper Theo Mercier.

A magnificent triple save from Mercier kept the scoreline blank at the end of the second period.

Leo Noel went close for Toulouse in the third period and Johnston could have won the game for Club NI late on with a fine shot that curled just beyond the top right corner of the net.

So on to the penalty shootout and Sam McLelland, Chris McKee and Jesse Carson all scored for NI.

Marito Marcel converted for Toulouse, with Scott Pengelly saving one and the French also hitting the post.

So a close call but a brilliant victory for Club NI.

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