Belfast Telegraph

Milk Cup: Down lead the way as county trio enjoy victories

By Keith Bailie

Three county teams have laid down their claims for Dale Farm Milk Cup success by making impressive starts to this year's tournament.

Down made the biggest impression as they hammered Brentford 4-0 in Clough with Leo Brown hitting a brace.

Alex McIlmail and Jack Chambers also found the back of net as the Football League Championship club failed to get to grips with the local boys.

Some believe Down could reach the latter stages of the tournament but manager David Bryson isn't getting ahead of himself.

"It's a fantastic way to start the tournament.

"It actually took us a while to get up to the pace of the game and our goalkeeper made two super saves when we were 1-0 up," said Bryson.

"As the game went on we started to dominate and we scored four nice goals.

But I'm delighted with how the lads played today, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves at this stage as we've only played one game.

"Now our thoughts turn to tomorrow's game with Donegal Schools and we will be showing Donegal the same respect we showed Brentford.

"As for the rest of the tournament, we will be taking it one game at a time.

We play Donegal tomorrow and we will not think about Strikers until Wednesday."

Ollie Mullan's County Londonderry also got their campaign off to a fine start thanks to a 3-2 victory over Californian side Orange County Blues at Roe Mill.

Stefan Seaton's County Antrim reached last year's final before losing to Corinthians. They got their 2015 campaign off to a fine start with a 3-0 win over North Dublin in Broughshane.

Armagh chalked up another win for the counties. They beat Swindon Town 3-1 at Anderson Park.

But Fermanagh were not so fortunate. Sam Gamble's boys lost 6-1 to Roma USA at Parker Avenue in Portrush.

Premier League giants Liverpool got their challenge rolling as they hit County Tyrone for six without replay at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

Glen McCauley bagged a brace, either side of an own goal before Curtis Jones' double and Belfast-born Reece McGinley completed the rout.

Meanwhile, over at the Coleraine Showgrounds, Scottish giants Rangers also impressed with an opening day victory in the Junior Section over Sheffield United.

A solitary goal from Zak Rudden four minutes from time was enough to give the Glasgow side a deserved success in horrible conditions.

Rudden found space at the edge of the box and found the top corner of the net with an unstoppable finish.

On the stroke of full-time, Sheffield United nearly salvaged a point as a half volley from Cameron Hawkes went narrowly wide of the far post with Lewis Muir rooted to the spot.

Premier League side Southampton set out their intentions for the week with a fine 3-0 win over Mexican side Zacatepec at Rugby Avenue in Coleraine.

Pre-tournament favourites Right To Dream, from Ghana, made a big impression in their first game of the tournament. They beat American side GPS Bayern 5-0 at Anderson Park in Coleraine.

One American side who did get off to a winning start was Strikers, who got the better of Chilean side Colina 2-0 at The Warren in Portstewart.

Sydney United's Mirza Muratovic was the first team to score at this year's Dale Farm Milk Cup, finding the net in the seventh minute of their 2-0 victory over Dundalk Schools at the Joey Dunlop Centre in Ballymoney.

And over in Castlerock, Plymouth Argyle beat Donegal Schools 1-0.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph