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SuperCupNI: Boss Boyd thrilled to see Linfield set up crunch Big Two clash

 

By Keith Bailie

Linfield's Under-13s are on the verge of booking their place in the semi-finals of the SuperCup NI's new Minor tournament.

The young Blues defeated Glenavon 1-0 at Ulster University's Coleraine campus yesterday - following Monday's victory over St Johnstone by the same scoreline - to go clear at the top of their group, thanks to a first-half goal from Stephen Bradley.

Linfield manager Scott Boyd said: "We got the goal from Stephen Bradley after about 20 minutes from a Jack Young corner.

"The players are playing with great confidence, and that comes from goalkeeper Ryan Brown and filters right through the team.

"We are doing well, and a point against Glentoran on Wednesday will secure us a berth in the semi-finals of the SuperCup NI.

"That's a great incentive for us."

Today sees the SuperCup NI's much-anticipated first baby Big Two, as Linfield and Glentoran clash in Coleraine.

Boyd said: "The game against Glentoran will be another good learning curve for the players.

"There might be a big crowd of Linfield and Glentoran fans there so that will add to the occasion."

After their super comeback success against Glenavon on Monday, Glentoran's hopes of progression from Group C suffered yesterday when they lost 3-0 to St Johnstone.

In Group A, Premier League academy club West Ham United edged closer to a semi-final spot with a 2-0 win over hometown favourites Coleraine.

Portadown claimed their first win with a 2-0 success over Dungannon Swifts.

In Group C, National League clubs Greenisland and Bertie Peacock Academy played out a 1-1 draw.

In the same group, Indian side Reeds suffered another hammering. The boys from Hyderabad lost 11-0 to Ballinamallard United, after their 17-0 defeat to Bertie Peacock Academy on Monday.

The club, who only arrived in Northern Ireland at 6am on Monday morning, have now conceded 28 goals with three games still left to play.

The new Minor competition - which has seen the return of NIFL sides for the first time in almost three decades - has proved to be a major success, with the nine Northern Irish teams attracting big crowds to the University facilities.

With all six games played at Ulster University each day, the Minor Section has a real festival feel to it.

The three group winners, plus the best-placed runners-up, will qualify for tomorrow's semi-finals, with the final set to be played at the Coleraine Showgrounds at midday on Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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