Belfast Telegraph

Border Cup: Magill optimistic for future despite Iveagh United's exit at the hands of Shankill United

By Martin Mawhinney

Iveagh United manager Dessie Magill is determined to focus on the positives of his side’s Border Cup exit at the weekend.

The Division 1C side were far from disgraced in their narrow 2-1 defeat to Premier Division outfit Shankill United, and Magill believes it was a sign that there could be better to come from his boys.

The ex-Iveagh midfielder witnessed his team take a first half lead through Paul Henderson, before a Shankill double floored their cup dream for another season.

Reflecting on the game, Magill said: “I suppose you could say I’ve got mixed feelings about it. If you look at some of their results this season, and look at some of ours, you could say we could be happy about how we got on.

“But we bossed the first half, and were definitely the better side before Shankill came back. They were strong in the second half, but we definitely had our chances to win it.”

The biggest plus point for Iveagh was that, for the first time this season, the manager had a full squad to select from. An unfortunate combination of work commitments and a substantial injury list had previously hampered Magill from picking a first choice XI up to now, but on Saturday’s evidence, there is plenty of reason for optimism for the future.

The Dunmurry-based club haven’t made a bright start to their 1C campaign, currently lying 10th with just three points from four games. Yet Magill remains positive about his team’s prospects.

He stated: “It’s definitely too early to talk about who is going to do what in the league. Teams are taking points off everyone. Groomsport’s win at Portaferry the other week shows just how open it is this year.

“There are points to be won, and we’ll keep working hard to move up the table. There is a lot of competition for places, but if I can strengthen all over the pitch in the coming weeks, we will be in a strong position.”

The Border Cup second round threw up little by way of upsets, with Albert Foundry beating Rosario YC 3-1, Dunmurry Rec beating Ballynahinch United 6-4 and Bangor Swifts claimed their second victory over local rivals Groomsport in the past month (5-3).

However, Killyleagh YC’s 1-0 win over UUJ, Immaculata’s 3-2 victory against Bloomfield, and Kilmore Rec’s 1-0 win on their travels to Bryansburn Rangers were possibly a little closer than expected.

See our results section for the full rundown of the weekend’s scores and standings.

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