SuperCupNI Minor Section: Glentoran, Linfield and Coleraine are back with a bang
The Irish League returned to the SuperCup NI in style yesterday with wins for Glentoran, Linfield and Coleraine.
Local league sides are allowed to enter the new Minors competition. It is for players under 13, with all games played at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus.
After nearly three decades of sitting on the sidelines, the Northern Ireland Football League clubs grasped the opportunity with both hands, with victories for the Glens, Blues and the Bannsiders. The local interest attracted big crowds.
Glenavon and Glentoran played out the day’s most entertaining game, with the Lurgan Blues racing into a 4-0 lead, only for the Glens to roar back and make it 4-4 at half-time. Glentoran found a late winner to claim a remarkable 5-4 win.
Glentoran’s big rivals Linfield were also celebrating after beating St Johnstone 1-0.
Coleraine marked their return to the competition that has been played on their doorstep since 1983 with a 2-0 win over Dungannon Swifts. The Swifts were the last Irish League club to win a trophy at the tournament, lifting the 1989 Junior Section with help from future Northern Ireland ace Keith Gillespie.
Renowned youth club Greenisland recorded an impressive 5-0 win over Fermanagh side Ballinamallard United.
West Ham are one of the three non-Northern Irish teams in the Minor tournament. They marked their return to Ulster with a 2-1 win over Portadown.
Bertie Peacock Youths had a stunning 17-0 win over Reeds of India.
The Hyderabad club only arrived in Belfast at 6am yesterday morning, with the game kicking off at midday. The travel clearly took a toll on the Indians, who were unable to stop the Coleraine side from scoring 17 goals in just 60 minutes.
Today’s fixtures at the Ulster University Coleraine campus see Glenavon face Linfield, Glentoran take on St Johnstone, Greenisland face Bertie Peacock Youths, Dungannon Swifts play Portadown, Coleraine host West Ham and Indian side Reeds look to restore some pride against Ballinamallard United.