Castlerock hosted its opening Supercup NI match on Wednesday afternoon when County Tyrone took on the South American side Alset Columbia.
Inside minutes it was the local side who went ahead through Finn Grimes, who has had been impressive during the tournament, when he latched on to the end of a long free-kick to fire into the net, sending the supporters into raptures.
One was then to become two shortly afterwards as the impressive Grimes pulled the ball back for Ciaren Magee, and he repaid the favour when he arrowed the ball into the roof of the South Americans net.
Despite being Two-Nil down, Alset were hoping for a route back into the game and nearly got it when Juan Penas’ shot was superbly dealt with by Neil Kilpatrick.
County Tyrone were once again very impressive on the eye with their slick passing and eye for the goal. On twenty one minutes the match could have been wrapped up when Grimes thought he had more time to shoot, but he was well tackled by Juan Gonzalez.
At this point it was wave after wave of attack for County Tyrone as Adam Young, who has impressed over the past three games, had his stinging shot from range well saved by the superb reactions from Santiago Ospina. Gavin O’Kane was the latest County Tyrone player to try his luck as his header from an in swinging corner was cleared off the line by Juan Pisso.
However, Alset Columbia weighed their way back into the match and pulled a goal back when Pena was played through on goal he kept his composure well and slotted the ball into the net, On the stroke of half-time Mark Monaghan nearly put the game out of sight as his powerful drive from the edge of the box was well saved by Ospina.
County Tyrone started the second half once again the side very much on top with Grimes having another chance as he headed a great chance wide from a corner, It was all one way traffic at this moment of time as the County Tyrone side created yet another opportunity as George Current delivered a pinpoint cross for Eoin Gallagher, who could only head wide of the upright.
However, County Tyrone were then to be shell-shocked as Pena grabbed his second of the game, scoring after Kilpatrick had made a good save with his legs from close range to deny Matias Lopez.
County Tyrone didn’t drop their heads and kept pushing for a winner, and it was the connection between Current and Gallagher who nearly brought that about as Current’s cross was taken down by the target man but his shot lacked power and it turned out to be an easy save for Ospina.
County Tyrone though did get their winner from the penalty spot as Fergal McGaritty kept his cool to send the ball low into the corner despite the keeper guessing correctly.
Gallagher then had another chance to get his name on the score sheet as he was played in by Current once again, but fluffed his lines only succeeding to find the grateful gloves of the Columbian keeper.
However the drama of this match wasn’t finished just yet as Pisso received his marching orders when he denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. In the last minute County Tyrone were denied a second penalty as Grimes was taken down clumsily by the outstretched Juan Gonzalez .
Another win for County Tyrone Juniors a perfect response to yesterday’s heavy defeat to local rivals County Armagh.
Report by Josh Bunting