Belfast Telegraph

Cup heartache for Londonderry boys

Co Londonderry 0-3 Right To Dream

By Keith Bailie

It was heartbreak for County Londonderry as Right to Dream secured back-to-back Junior titles at the SuperCup NI thanks to a brace from striker Emmanuel Bam.

The Ghanaian side won 3-0 in an entertaining final at the Ballymena Showgrounds. Last year, Bam was part of the Right to Dream side that beat Southampton 7-0 in the final.

Londonderry manager Ollie Mullan had plenty to be proud of. He said: "The boys did incredibly well to get this far. No one thought we would get this far.

"Come the final, our boys were tired, they have been on their feet for five days. They were excellent in the first-half, but our game plan went out the window when we conceded a penalty 30 seconds into the second period.

"I'm not sure if the penalty was a foul, but it was always going to be difficult to come back. Right to Dream are a fantastic team. They were deserved winners.

"The boys will gain a lot from this experience. They now know that they can compete with anyone. The boys have been tremendous all week and I couldn't be more proud of them."

Right to Dream started brightly, with Danish midfielder Oliver Tollbel's shot headed off the line by Brendan Barr.

Kelvin Ofori went even closer in the eighth minute, his shot cannoning off the woodwork. Despite the African side's pressure and possession, County Londonderry held their own in the first-half.

But their resistance lasted for less than a minute of the second period. The local side conceded a penalty 22 seconds in when Jack McClean made a foul inside the six-yard box and Bam made no mistake.

It would have been 2-0 eight minutes later if it wasn't for the brave defending of Luke McKendry, who cleared Tollbel's low shot off the line.

The second Right to Dream goal arrived in the 12th minute of the second-half. Rory Palmer produced a fine save and the Derry defence made two blocks but the ball fell to Bam, who slotted home.

Bam almost completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes left but his diving header bounced off the post.

Right to Dream did add a third in the second minute of stoppage time when Ofori beat substitute goalkeeper Lewis Vance. The third was tough on Londonderry, but Right to Dream richly deserve to win after demonstrating their physical strength and technique throughout the week.

County Londonderry: Palmer, McClelland, Devaney, McKendry, McClean, Wilson, Whiteside, McLaughlin, Barr, Crooks, Woods. Subs: Bradley, Taggart, Hawe, McGarvey, Duffy, Callaghan, Vance

Right To Dream: Tollbel, Adomako, Woledzi, Deen, Diomande, Oteng, Villadsen, Basit, Ofori, Aziz, Bam. Subs: Terp, Leaon, Coulibaly, Christianson. Kingson

Referee: Tony Clarke

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