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Corey McBride doubles up as Harps hit the high note

By Brendan Hagan

The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup produced some thrilling action yesterday as teams fought to progress in the tournament, but Glenavon's hopes were dashed by Foyle Harps in the Under-14 section.

Harps ran out 3-0 winners despite a battling display from the wee Lurgan Blues at Ardmore.

Adam Taggart had an early chance with a close-range header but Glenavon keeper Nathan Noble tipped the ball onto the post.

The Harps asserted their authority again when Caolan McLaughlin was in the clear but Noble once again pulled off a fine save.

The best chance of the half came just before the break and it fell to the Harps. After a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Jack Deery but his shot couldn't quite find a way through a crowd of bodies and was deflected to safety. 

The Harps started the second half brightly and were rewarded for their tenacity in the 55th minute as McLaughlin went through yet again.

The big striker nipped the ball away from Noble before the keeper dived in and swiped his feet to give away a penalty.

The resulting spot-kick was converted by Corey McBride to put the Harps into a deserved 1-0 lead.

This seemed to relieve the pressure on the Derry boys and they started playing more free-flowing football.

Jack McClean finished accurately after an impressive move down the right and McBride effortlessly swept in his second from a free-kick to secure the 3-0 victory.

Meanwhile, Maiden City Academy celebrated a slender 1-0 derby win over Institute in the Under-15 category.

It was, unsurprisingly, a close affair at Wilton Park but City took the lead when Ethan Coll powered in a half volley from 10 yards. It was a feisty affair and eventually a free-kick fell in a dangerous area. Maiden City nearly took advantage as Denim McLaughlin's set-piece cracked off the crossbar.

There was no let-up in intensity as the second half got under way with both sets of players fighting for everything.

It was City again who got the next significant opportunity as Eoghan Crilly showed great pace and power to get into a shooting position but was denied twice by Marc McCloskey's superb double save.

The game remained tight as it entered the closing stages and Stute couldn't find a cutting edge. The best chances seemed to come from long free-kicks which were lofted in but there was no danger for Maiden's defence and they ran out 1-0 winners.

The Under-9 age group has reached the final stage of competition and games kick off at the Foyle College site at 10am.

The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, Department for Social Development, Tourism NI, OFM DFM, Hughes Insurance, Seagate, Inner City Trust, Brunswick Superbowl and Derry Credit Union.

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