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Martin McGuinness roars on grandson as Oxford United starlets shine at Foyle Cup

By Adam McKendry

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness was a proud spectator at the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup last night as he watched grandson Oisin Hargan help Oxford United Stars into the semi-finals of the Under-13 section.

The Stars secured their place in the last four with an impressive 2-0 win over Oliver Plunkett Colts at St Columb's Park.

In front of a big crowd, Mark McDaid gave the Derry side the lead, finishing neatly from a Jack Morrow cross early in the first-half. Shea Ferguson added the second deep into the second-half when he headed in from an Ethan O'Kane corner to secure the Stars' progression.

The Stars are joined by Oliver Plunkett, Maiden City Soccer and Donegal Schoolboys in the semi-finals.

Each of the four teams won all three of their group matches, making it particularly tough to choose a favourite to take home the silverware.

Oxford, however, recorded excellent wins in their group against local hopefuls Ballymoney and Crusaders, giving them a marginal advantage over their rivals.

The tournament yesterday continued to draw large crowds for its games, which are held across the Derry, Strabane and Donegal areas, as family members came out in force to support and roar on their young stars in the making.

With every section, bar the Under-14 and Under-16 boys, concluding their group stages yesterday, there were plenty of eye-catching games on display across the board.

Even though their group stage does not conclude until today, there was still action in the Under-14 section with Letterkenny Rovers and Coleraine playing out a 1-1 draw.

The Bannsiders took the lead in the 20th minute when Stuart Wallace latched onto a long ball from the back and launched a hopeful shot towards goal that hit the back of the net, courtesy of a goalkeeping error.

But determined Rovers were not to be denied and they levelled the score soon after the restart through an excellent right-footed strike from Marty Duffy, earning them a share of the spoils.

Coleraine's last game is against Finnish participants FD Suomi, and it is all to play for as the winner of that clash will top Group A of the Under-14 section.

The Irish League side are tied with Suomi on four points after the Finns defeated Strabane Athletic 1-0 yesterday.

In the Under-12 age group, Glentoran are still on track for an impressive third successive crown after they reached the last-four in emphatic style, defeating Mountjoy United 9-0 at Prehen.

The victory means the defending champions won all three of their group matches, scoring 32 goals in the process and conceding none.

The Glens didn't record the biggest win of the day, however. That honour went to Allies Celtic, who were 11-0 victors over the Futsal School of East Donegal in the Under-10s section.

For all the latest fixtures and results you can download the Foyle Cup app on your phone or you can visit www.foylecup.com online.

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