Belfast Telegraph

Derry and Dungannon on high with Foyle Cup glory

 

Just champion: Derry City celebrate their narrow 1-0 triumph over Donegal side Finn Harps at the Brandywell in the Foyle Cup Under-15 final
Just champion: Derry City celebrate their narrow 1-0 triumph over Donegal side Finn Harps at the Brandywell in the Foyle Cup Under-15 final

By Jade Lyons

Derry City pipped rivals Finn Harps in the Under-15 final at the O'Neills Foyle Cup thanks to Luca Doherty's strike.

The Brandywell final was a great advertisement for under-age football, with both sides using the ball smartly.

Chances were at a premium in the first half, with the best falling to Finn Harps striker Liam Donnelly. However, he could only direct his header from a corner wide of the upright with Derry keeper Charlie Byrne beaten.

The Candystripes started the second half well and they came close twice after probing through balls.

Midway through the half, man of the match Doherty ran on to a high ball through the centre and managed to head over the advancing Harps keeper Eoin McGettigan from 12 yards to score the only goal of the game.

From then on it was counter-attack football from the Derry side as Harps pushed for an equaliser, and they came very close to getting it with minutes to spare when a ball from the left found striker Donnelly in the six-yard box but he fluffed wide.

Derry defenders Patrick McLaughlin and Daithi McCallion marshalled the backline superbly, while up front Doherty was a thorn in the side of Harps.

For the Donegal men it was Luke McGlynn who led from the front but all to no avail in the end as City were crowned 2019 Under-15 Foyle Cup champions.

Meanwhile, Tristar were defeated 2-0 by Westport in the Under-11 final, which was played in bright sunshine at Bishop's Field.

The game kicked into life in the second half with a beautifully hit free-kick and an own goal deciding the fate of the trophy.

Tristar started the better but some great saves from Caolan O'Reilly in the Westport goal kept the scores level.

The most notable chance came from Westport's Ben Holmes, whose shot from 18 yards struck the crossbar.

Early in the second half, Westport's Jamie O'Malley stepped up to blast a 16-yeard free-kick into the bottom corner to move his side into a 1-0 advantage.

Minutes later, a cross from the right wasn't cleared by the Tristar backline and the ball hit the back of one of the unlucky defenders and past helpless goalkeeper Odhran Patton.

In the Under-9 decider, Dungannon came away with a 6-1 victory over Ballymoney in Inishowen.

The scoreline somewhat flattered Dungannon as there were no goals scored in the first period despite both sides having numerous chances.

Three quick-fire goals early in the second half sealed the victory for Dungannon as midfield dynamo Josh Walker took control of the game.

His probing through balls to Eoin Ferguson paid dividends as the striker notched two - one following a mistake from the Ballymoney keeper.

Brayden McNally's superbly hit free-kick made it three and put the game beyond Ballymoney.

Further scores from Ferguson and Tadhg Feeney, followed by a neatly tucked away volley from substitute Estefanio Conceicao, sealed the win and only a late consolation from the boot of Oisin O'Brien helped ease the pain for the young Ballymoney side.

The stand-outs for Dungannon were Feeney and man of the match Walker, while Lorcan Martin and Luke Kearney stood out for Ballymoney.

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