Belfast Telegraph

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Proud Greenisland make history as SuperCupNI's first ever Minor winners

 

By Keith Bailie

Greenisland, a club inspired by the SuperCupNI, became the first ever team to lift the tournament's new Minor trophy.

The new Under-13 age bracket has been a massive success story for tournament organisers, with large crowds watching the group games at Coleraine's university campus.

The final also attracted a bumper crowd to the Coleraine Showgrounds, as Greenisland defeated local side Bertie Peacock Academy in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to take the Minor crown, with Jaydn Withers hitting the decisive spot kick.

Greenisland coach Niall McGovern said: "Our club was inspired by the Milk Cup. In 1995, a group of men from Greenisland went to watch County Antrim at the competition and decided they wanted to form their own youth club. Their ambition was to send boys to the Milk Cup.

"Over the years, lots of kids from our club have played here, but this is the first time we have competed as Greenisland. To win this trophy is massive for our club.

"The committee members who formed the club are here today and I know how proud they are of the boys. The kids have been brilliant all week long.

"I hope the SuperCupNI keep this Minor section going and even expand upon it. We would love to come back this time next year and defend this trophy."

Bertie Peacock Academy coach Soren Stewart believes the new Minor tournament has been a huge success.

"We're a boys club in Coleraine and playing in this final means the world to us," said Stewart.

"A lot of these boys support Coleraine and they watch their heroes here at The Showgrounds every Saturday. For them to get the chance to play on the Coleraine Showgrounds is massive.

"I hope the Minor section is kept on for next year and even expanded because it's great for the kids here in Northern Ireland."

While the Minor competition has been a fantastic addition to the SuperCupNI, the final itself provided little drama in normal time, finishing 0-0.

There was little to separate the two teams, with both sides playing some attractive football.

Bradley Maguire almost won it for Greenisland in stoppage time with a rasping drive, but Berties goalkeeper Harry Buckley produced a stunning save to ensure a penalty shoot-out.

Greenisland won the shoot-out 5-4, with Withers hitting the winning strike, sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.

Bertie Peacock Academy: Buckley, Stewart, R Moffatt, McBride, Boyd, McAleese, Doherty, J Moffatt, Wynne, McCallion.

Subs: O'Neill, Elliott, O'Connor, Skeggs, McVicker, Fox, McToal, Brennan.

Greenisland: Hume, Cunningham, Black, Patterson, Withers, Higgins, Price, Given, McMullan, Morgan, McCart.

Subs: Woolsey, Small, Wallace, Andrews, Thompson, Maguire, Quinn.

Belfast Telegraph

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