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Glenavon claim Premier scalp

Canaries are not singing after Lurgan boys make dream start

By Stuart McKinley

Glenavon produced a heroic performance to stun the might of Premier League giants Norwich City as they got their Foyle Cup campaign off to a dream start on the opening day of the competition.

The Lurgan youngsters pulled off a magnificent 4-3 victory over the Canaries - and that was after coming from a goal down inside the opening 10 minutes.

Chris Singleton was the hero, scoring twice in the first half, before the defence did their job after the break to frustrate Norwich and, after Lewis Smylie scored from a free kick, Ross Hull netted the winner in a swift counter-attack.

A moment of real quality saw Norwich take the lead with 10 minutes gone.

Louis Lomas found himself in a yard of space on the edge of the box and he let fly with a fine strike into the opposite corner.

That early setback seemed to spark the Glenavon boys into life as they upped their game and were quickly back in the match.

Singleton was rewarded for his bright movement up front as he collected a long ball, rounded goalkeeper Harvey Simson and kept his composure to equalise.

It was Singleton on the mark again five minutes later as the the Lurgan side turned the game around.

This time he latched onto another ball over the Norwich defence and slid in his second of the match from six yards out.

Realising they needed something more to break down a resilient Glenavon defence Norwich come quickly out of the blocks after the break.

After creating a series of half chances, the equaliser finally came when Shaye La Rose finished smartly, tucking the ball under the body of advancing goalkeeper Ryan Dowling from close range to level things up.

That failed to unsettle Glenavon, who had grown in confidence as the game went on. Indeed, they were ahead again just two minutes later when Smylie smashed a free kick which took a deflection and whizzed beyond the helpless Norwich keeper and into the net.

Glenavon had to stay resolute for the inevitable onslaught and Dowling was kept busy between the sticks.

A rare second-half breakaway, however, saw Hull pick up the ball and loft a perfectly weighted strike over Simson to open a two-goal lead.

Nov Sonybruce got one back for the English side but the Lurgan boys defended admirably to wrap up an impressive upset in their first group game.  

Glenavon will have to look out for fellow Irish League club Crusaders, however, who have nailed down their position as early favourites in the under-15 section after a convincing victory over Coleraine.

The Shore Road lads hammered in 12 goals without reply in a convincing performance.

Waterford Schoolboys were big scorers in the under-13 section, beating local side Trojans 9-0.

Tireoghain Flynn opened the scoring from six yards after Kacper Zajac's volley could only be parried by the Trojan's keeper. Jack Taylor's shot from the edge of the box trickled into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 and it was 3-0 shortly afterwards, Ravelli Kilonda taking advantage of a tap in on 12 minutes.

Sean Daly curled in the fourth and Kilonda hit a sweetly struck volley to leave it 5-0 at the break.  

Zajac finished smartly to make it 6-0 and substitute Ian Byrne's shot from the edge of the box was too hot to handle as he bagged the seventh. Timi Sobowale cracked a superb strike into the top corner from 25 yards for the eighth and William Halpin rounded off the scoring. 

Donegal Schoolboys, who had a very successful event last year, declared their early intentions with a convincing 5-1 victory over Institute, also in the under-13 section.

Belfast Telegraph


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