SuperCupNI Junior Section Champions - Co Antrim
Co Antrim claim SuperCupNI 2017 Junior Trophy
County Antrim became the first team ever from Northern Ireland to claim the SuperCupNI Junior Section as they beat American side GPS Bayern 2-0 in Friday's showpiece at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
GPS Bayern created the first opening inside six minutes as Pedro Torres attempted to play in Giacomo Sinopoli but Ruadhan McKenna was off his line quickly to claim the loose ball.
County Antrim created their first chance a minute later as Alfonso De Vito made a good stop after Christopher McKee had hit a powerful shot from an acute angle.
De Vito was then called into action once again on 15 minutes as he made a good reaction save to keep out a close-range Dylan Snodden effort.
The young American keeper was then called into more action on 20 minutes as Ben Wylie tried to play in McKee but the keeper was off his line quick to clear.
From the resulting corner Antrim hit the post as GPS failed to clear their lines the ball fell to the feet of Rea who crashed his effort off the post beating the keeper all ends up.
Antrim were pressing and pressing for the opener De Vito made another fine save from a Carl Johnston corner as the local sides attackers were lurking.
However the goal for the dominate Antrim did arrive on 28 minutes as man of the match Darren Hyland hit a stunning strike from twenty-five yards out into the top corner via the post.
It could have been two on the stroke of the break after David Faulkner was played through before he saw his rasping effort pushed away by the American keeper.
County Antrim created the first opening of the second half after some nice play by the side kitted out in yellow the ball fell to McKee who has been offered a contract at Rangers and he thumped his effort over the crossbar.
Trai Hume then had another good opportunity to put Antrim two ahead as he got on the end of a corner at the back post but he flicked his effort over the crossbar.
Antrim did have their second on forty-three minutes as Barry Crowe floated in a delightful free-kick for Gerard Storey and he flicked his header over the impressive De Vito and into the back of the net.
It could have been three on 52 minutes as Carson Elliot who has impressed throughout the tournament hit a low free kick across the face of goal and just wide.
De Vito made another sublime save a minute later as he denied Storey a second after GPS had failed to clear their lines.
With two minutes to go Antrim could have sealed the victory as the fantastic Storey off the bench weaved the challenges to fire his effort just wide of the target.
De Vito was putting in a strong claim for man of the match and he made another great save to keep out a thunderous drive from McKee in a central position.
Credit, Joshua Bunting @Distillerymad