Belfast Telegraph

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Shankill fail to halt losing run against classy Finns

By Jim McCafferty

Impressive Finnish team FDS Suomi made it three defeats on the trot for Belfast side Shankill United Academy in their Under-12 Foyle Cup clash at Templemore last night.

Fluent and slick football was the order of the day with FDS scoring an early goal and then keeping the Belfast men on the back foot for most of the first period.

In the second half, a more positive Shankill created a few chances but goalkeeper Bradley in the Finnish goals was on hand to deal with any real danger.

Shankill's problems continued in front of goal though and they missed two good opportunities to net an equaliser.

With time running out and the Belfast side pushing for a leveller, it was the Finns who broke away and scored again to seal victory and keep their 100% record intact and progress through the group stages.

For the Belfast side it was another bad day at the office, although Jack Hamill, Adam Moody and Ben Howell impressed.

The Under-14 clash at Leafair Park between Donegal's Keadue Rovers and Maiden City Academy saw excellent attacking football from both sides, using width and movement off the ball.

Keadue clinched the victory on a slim 1-0 scoreline.

The star of the show was Keadue's diminutive winger Reuben Grimes, his electric pace and ball control terrorising the Derry side's defence throughout the game.

It was an early strike after seven minutes that gave the Donegal side the points, although some better finishing by both teams could have delivered more goals.

The tall centre-back duo of Jordan Saville and Nathan Kibbler, who kept the Maiden City forward line at bay for most of the game, deserve special praise.

Elsewhere, local sides Tristar and Maiden City battled it out in a five-goal thriller in the Under-12 game at Brooke Park early yesterday afternoon, City coming away with a narrow 3-2 victory.

Tristar took the lead with an early strike from Shea Healy, but were pegged back minutes later when Maiden City equalised.

The second half saw Maiden City pull ahead and take a 3-1 lead with centre-back Conor Armstrong and winger Kevin Muldoon pulling the strings.

Not to be outdone, a resolute Tristar pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining, striker Brandon Crockett latching onto a through ball and slotting neatly into the corner.

The same player had a chance to level terms in the dying minutes but his shot was well saved by Maiden City goalkeeper Dara McAuley.

Jack Doherty and Aaron McLaughlin impressed for Tristar in midfield, and young striker Crockett kept the Maiden City defence busy.

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