Co Antrim boys retain Super Cup NI Junior crown

Jul 29, 2018 | Junior Section

Co Antrim held their nerve to beat Manchester United 5-4 on penalties in Friday’s final of the Super Cup NI Junior section in Ballymena.


All five Antrim players scored in the shootout after the game finished 1-1.


Connor Friel saved Owen Dodgson’s spot-kick, making amends for a goalkeeping error two minutes from the end when Will Fish’s free-kick drifted in.


Charlie Allen’s smart finish after 56 minutes put Antrim in front before they retained the trophy on penalties.


Allen, Sean Paul McAllister, Sean Stewart, Ronan Kalla and Caolan McBride all converted their spot-kicks for Antrim.


Friel saved United’s first penalty from Dodgson before Fish, Ola Ibrahim and David Mayamona scored.


United carved out several good first-half opportunities but were unable to break the deadlock.


George Walters caused problems for Antrim down United’s left and crossed for what looked a certain goal for Michael Mellon. However, Sean Stewart stuck out a boot for a vital interception to deny United the opening goal.


McBride got a shot on target for County Antrim after 25 minutes but it was an easy save for United goalkeeper Joe Lawton.


The Red Devils carved out the best chance of the first half two minutes before the interval from a set-piece after Mellon’s neat footwork drew a foul.


Charlie Savage swung a left-footed free-kick into the box and it somehow went all the way through to the back post, but United defender George Wyatt wasted a good opportunity, blazing the ball over the crossbar.


The drama came late in the second half, Allen giving County Antrim the lead with four minutes left with a smart finish across Lawton into the far corner.


However, United equalised two minutes later through Fish, who launched a speculative free-kick from well inside his own half into the Antrim penalty area.


Friel came off his line to gather it and missed, the ball going over his head and drifting into an empty net.


Ross McCausland tried to win it for Antrim in stoppage time and turned Ibrahim inside out, but Lawton stood tall to force penalties.


In Friday’s Minor final, Greenisland FC defeated Bertie Peacock Youths 5-4 on penalties, after the game finished 0-0 at Coleraine Showgrounds.

Copy from BBC Sport NI