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Watch: Robbie Savage's son scores smashing strike for Manchester United in SuperCupNI success

Robbie’s son Charlie scores to evoke memories of Milk Cup success of Beckham, Scholes, Neville and Gillespie

By Keith Bailie

Charlie Savage is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father Robbie at this week’s SuperCupNI.

Savage Snr won the Premier section of the Milk Cup with Manchester United in 1991 alongside the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Keith Gillespie. Now, son Charlie is just one game away from playing in the Junior final.

Savage scored the third goal in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Club NI at Seahaven in Portstewart, and he wasn’t the only famous name on the scoresheet for United, with Zidane Iqbal also finding the net, along with Manni Norkett.

The victory was enough to see United’s Under-15s top the group and set-up a fascinating semi-final with County Armagh.

The other semi-final sees Southampton play County Antrim, so we could still see an all-Northern Irish final.

The win over the Irish FA’s Academy signals a remarkable turnaround for the Red Devils, who looked down and out after their 2-1 defeat to County Londonderry on Monday night.

Londonderry were very unfortunate not to make the semi-finals. They followed their victory over United by beating Rangers 2-1 at the Coleraine Showgrounds yesterday with another stunning display, Matthew Walker’s rasping 25-yard drive for Derry a contender for goal of the tournament.

Unfortunately for Martin Smith’s boys, their Tuesday afternoon loss to Club NI cost them a place in the semi-finals as they finished just below United on goal difference in Group A.

County Armagh booked their place in the last four with an impressive 2-0 win over Chilean side Colina at Clough, with goals from Conall O’Callaghan and Michael McConville. That win meant Armagh pipped Dundalk Schools to a semi-final spot on goal difference, even though Dundalk defeated Leeds United 3-2 in Ballymoney in Group D.

Holders County Antrim qualified for the semi-finals thanks to a 0-0 draw with Plymouth Argyle at Castlerock, which was enough to see them top Group C. In the same group, Mexican side Chivas made short work of County Fermanagh, winning 5-0.

Southampton are many observers’ favourites to win this year’s Junior Section and they finished Group E with three wins, by beating Dublin Schools 1-0 at Anderson Park.

The Saints have a fine tradition of producing young players with the likes of Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlin all coming through the club’s youth system.

Academy Manager Matt Hale believes tournaments like the SuperCupNI are vital to players’ progress.

“Competitions like this one teach the boys the values of winning and losing. It’s tough as you play five games in five days, so it’s a real tournament experience.

“You’re playing against different styles from different parts of the world, so they’re learning every day.

“We’re delighted to make the semi-finals but the experience is as important as the results.”

Also in Group E, County Tyrone defeated American club Strikers 2-1.

Cherry Orchard will go down as the Junior Section’s unluckiest team. A 0-0 draw with Charlton Athletic meant the side from south of the border topped Group B, however SuperCupNI rules dictate that the group winners with the worst record do not progress to the semi-finals.

As Cherry Orchard had a worse goal difference than Group C winners County Antrim, Orchard were the group winners who lose out. 

Elsewhere in Group B, County Down lost 1-0 to American touring side Global Premier Soccer at Clough. Jonathan Klien scored for GPS.

Belfast Telegraph

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