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Three county sides with eye on draw for semis


Saints sunk: Tyrone's Shane Brennan celebrates his goal which was enough to defeat Southampton

Saints sunk: Tyrone's Shane Brennan celebrates his goal which was enough to defeat Southampton

Ramsey Cardy / Presseye

Saints sunk: Tyrone's Shane Brennan celebrates his goal which was enough to defeat Southampton

A trio of county sides made the headlines in the Junior Section on day two.

Tyrone, Antrim and Down all produced the goods and have one eye on making tonight's semi-final draw.

The side with the best opportunity of doing that are Antrim, sitting on four points after a 2-2 draw with one of the favourites for the title, Brentford.

Brendy Glackin was in impressive form for Antrim as he made one and scored one for the home county.

It was his mazy run which put the first goal on a plate for Marty Olali to tap Antrim into a half-time lead.

However, the Bees bit back with two goals in the space of four minutes, from Kingsley Eshun and Joshua Bohui, to turn the game on its head.

Glackin came to the rescue again and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to ensure a share of the spoils.

Afterwards boss Stefan Seaton was quick to stress that it was a team effort from his men, but praised the influence of Glackin.

"We say he's like a wasp in a car – you just can't get rid of him on the pitch," Seaton said.

"He did very well today, but we don't like to single anyone out.

"He caused Brentford problems today because he likes to run in behind and pose questions and you probably don't get a lot of that in academy football because players are coming short to get the ball."

For Conor Marlin's Tyrone boys it was an especially sweet day as they recovered from Monday's narrow defeat to Liverpool with a superb 1-0 win over Southampton in Broughshane.

Shane Brennan's first-half strike was enough to give them a memorable victory over over the Saints and boss Marlin believes it should have been even more.

"It was a case of missed chances, we could have won by four goals in the end," he said.

"We missed an open goal at 1-0 and I just hoped it wasn't going to go to cost us, but thankfully it didn't.

"We played very well and while I wouldn't expect to make the semi-finals we can still take a lot out of it."

Coming just 24 hours after the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool Marlin said his players were keen to prove themselves again against top class opposition.

"It was and it wasn't hard to pick them up after Monday because they knew played well, but you can't afford to miss opportunities against top opposition," he added.

"When you look at the draw we probably had the toughest group because we were playing two top academies from England.

"To come away with a win from one of those games is very pleasing."

Down recovered from a heavy opening day defeat to record a comprehensive win of their own, beating Chilean outfit San Luis de Colina 3-0.

Keegan Rice, Luke Fisher and Peter Freeland all produced second half goals to earn Kyle Spiers' boys the victory.

Everton took their tally of goals to eight in two games and remain on course for the semi-finals with maximum points after their 3-0 win over Dundalk Schools League, thanks to strikes from Jack Bainbridge, Thomas Davies and Antony Evans.

Belfast Telegraph