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Foyle Cup: Hearts show their class as the Phoenix boys rise to conquer

 

Shake on it: Linfield and Donegal girls’ Under-9s shake hands before their O’Neills Foyle Cup match, which saw the Blues win 4-0
Shake on it: Linfield and Donegal girls’ Under-9s shake hands before their O’Neills Foyle Cup match, which saw the Blues win 4-0
Phoenix players hail their fourth goal against Camlough
Hearts’ Mark Deya and Macauley Tait celebrate a goal in their victory

By Jade Lyons

East Donegal Schoolboys went down 4-0 to Hearts in the opening Under-15 game of the O'Neills Foyle Cup at a blustery but warm Wilton Park yesterday evening.

Playing with the wind at their backs in the first period, Scottish side Hearts dominated but squandered chances and the teams went in all square at the interval.

Controlling the midfield was the diminutive Macauley Tait and his distribution to both wingers caused problems for the under-pressure Donegal defence.

The second period saw Hearts' possession pay dividends when Murray Thomas broke through to slot home under the goalkeeper.

Minutes later, it was 2-0. A break on the left saw a low cross met by striker Mark Deya, who calmly converted.

Donegal heads were down after that and further goals from Makenzie Kirk, a neat free-kick from 25 yards, and a Collum Hambrack strike from 18 yards saw the Scottish team seal their first victory in this year's tournament.

Slick ball players all over the park will see this Hearts side go a long way this year.

Played in windy conditions at the city's Brooke Park, local side Phoenix came from behind to see off a resilient Camlough Rovers from Newry.

Both sides played some attractive football in the first period but it was Phoenix who took the lead after 10 minutes when Jack Gallagher met a cross from the right and blasted home.

Sixteen minutes in, the Newry side equalised when a mazy run down the left wing by Oisin Cunningham saw him drive low past the advancing keeper to level.

Camlough went ahead in the dying minutes of the first half when Ellen McCartney tapped in from a corner.

The second half saw a stronger Phoenix performance. They levelled from a corner on the left when the ball deceived the goalkeeper and Owen Irvine slotted home, then went ahead with a scorcher from 18 yards from Irvine which found the top corner.

The dying minutes saw a fourth when Caomhan Millar broke through the centre and shot under goalkeeper Daire Kelly to wrap up the result.

Sion Swifts' clash against Derry City was one of the first fixtures in this year's tournament.

And it was Sion who were first off the mark when Emily Robb and Clea Gallagher scored two early goals.

The young City ladies struggled to stem the flow in the first period as Sion ran in another four goals before half-time.

A different City side emerged for the second half and they managed to pull two goals back while keeping a clean sheet.

Impressive for the Swifts were Robb, Gallagher and Cara Browne.

Derry City's five-year-old Allie Deane is one for the future.

Local side Tristar Under-9s got their Foyle Cup campaign under way in comprehensive fashion against Glen Rovers Colts with a one-sided victory yesterday morning.

The tone was set in the first minute when Noah Noonan calmly slotted home after the keeper spilled a shot from Rylee McKeever. Things didn't get any better for Glen Rovers Colts, although they gave a brave and spirited performance. Tristar just proved too hot to handle.

Tristar's Jack Beasley put in a complete captain's performance, rallying his team and bagging four goals in the process.

The dynamic front three of Noonan, McKeever and Kalen Kyle looked dangerous every time they got on the ball and they scored a few goals between them.

Foyle Cup chairman Michael Hutton commented: "We very much appreciate the support of all our sponsors.

"Although we are all volunteers, who are willing to put in an immense amount of hours to ensure the success of the event, we rely heavily on the support of our sponsors and the local community groups who provide their facilities to us every year."

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