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Northern Ireland talent making some positive first impressions

By Keith Bailie

Published 26/07/2016

Man for the big occasion: Co Antrim’s Liam McKenna is mobbed by team-mates after scoring against Club America
Man for the big occasion: Co Antrim’s Liam McKenna is mobbed by team-mates after scoring against Club America

The County teams lead the way in the Premier section of the SuperCupNI with Antrim, Armagh and Down all claiming impressive wins.

Armagh stole the show at Clough, hammering Columbian side Alset 8-0, with Lorcan Forde hitting a hat-trick. Craig Taylor, Ryan Leeman, Eoin Toal and Pablo Andrade also found the net in a comprehensive victory.

Delighted coach Jay Willis said: "It is always important to get off to a winning start on the opening day.

"That result sets us up for the other fixtures and gives everyone a lift. It was Lorcan's first taste of the SuperCupNI competition and that proved the case for a number of the other members of the squad."

County Down also shone, beating African side Lusaka 4-1 at Rugby Avenue, while holders Antrim started their defence of the Premier section with a win; Andy Hunter's men beating Mexican side Club America 1-0 in a repeat of last season's final.

County Tyrone recorded a respectable 2-2 draw against 2014 finalists Vendee at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney, while Londonderry also claimed a point against foreign opposition, drawing 0-0 with Belgians Mechelen in Limavady.

The County teams ran out of luck at the Ballymena Showgrounds, however, with Fermanagh losing 2-1 to Newcastle United and there was a shock result at the Riada when Ghanaians Right To Dream were defeated 2-0 by Chilean side O'Higgins.

Spaniards Real Sociedad may have failed to reach the final of the Under 21 tournament, but they are still in the hunt for the Premier trophy after beating Ponte Preta 2-1 in Portstewart.

Elsewhere, Hibernian impressed in Portstewart, winning 3-0 against Brazilian outfit Osasco, and at Parker Avenue, Ichifuna of Japan beat MS Select 4-1, while Castlerock hosted The Strikers' (USA) defeat of New Zealanders Otago 6-0.

Belfast Telegraph

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