Goalkeeper Rory Brown saved two penalty shoot-out kicks to help County Londonderry win the Junior Bowl final against GPS FC Bayern.
The County side lifted the trophy after a comfortable 4-1 penalty win after both sides were unable to break the deadlock in normal time. Londonderry claimed a clean-sweep of converted kicks, while Brown brilliantly stopped efforts from Gavin Kilkenny and Tobias McKay Jnr to be crowned champions. Match-hero Brown said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for the lads. We should have won the game in normal time, so I am relieved we got there in the end.”
The County keeper also revealed his secret to success was down to guessing. He said: “I just had a feeling and guessed where the players were going to go, and I made sure I got across quickly. It’s down to luck, but I’m glad I could help the team win the trophy.”
Londonderry dominated the game but were unable to force a breakthrough. The county side felt they should have been ahead when Sam McClelland’s 25th minute header was fumbled by the goalkeeper and Andrew Whiteside’s follow-up from close range crashed off the bar and over. This moment proved to be either side’s best goal-scoring opportunity.
In the second-half, Londonderry were unable to test the goalkeeper as much as they’d like considering their domination on the ball. The American side tried to catch their opponents on the break. However, he and his teammates were unable to breakdown Londonderry’s defence and create any threat at goal. Londonderry overloaded men in the box in the closing stages but the American’s held on to take the game to penalties, where the County team went on to earn a deserved victory.
Match Report by Nathan Webb