FOYLE CUP: Dungannon and Derry lift titles

Cup joy for Derry City under 15s at the Foyle Cup.
Cup joy for Derry City under 15s at the Foyle Cup.

Derry City and Dungannon United players can join the list of Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup champions following Friday’s fixtures.

City picked up prizes on two fronts as the under 15s defeated Maiden City and under 17s proved too strong for Inishowen.

United’s celebrations centred on the under 11s’ victory over Glentoran Academy.

Kildrum Tigers edged past Norwich City by a single goal to secure the under 19s’ trophy.

The early programme helped settle semi-finals ties across a series of age groups.

In the under 12 semi-final, Sheffield United, having taken part in the tournament for the past few years, achieved their ultimate goal by accounting for a valiant Derry Colts in the cup semi-final at Thornhill.

It was a game played in the best of spirit and the large number of spectators were enthralled by the very high standard of play displayed by both teams.

Sheffield will now face another local North West team in the final at Ardmore as Bertie Peacock Youth League maintained their high standard of performance to make the final.

The semi-finals in the under 16 Cup and under 14 Rose Bowl saw American sides First Choice Soccer and Tampa Rowdies overcome, respectively, local teams Oxford United and Finn Harps.

In the under 16 Cup, Oxford went down in a penalty shoot-out while under 14 side Finn Harps were well beaten 3-0 by a slick Tampa side.

In the under 16 clash, Derry side Oxford fell victim to an early goal. Ezan Millan controlled from 25 yards out, turned his marker and blasted high past Oxford goalkeeper Jake Harkin.

Despite a few close attempts by the home side, the score remained 0-1 to the US side at half-time.

A resolute Oxford started better in the second period and pulled level through Kevin McKinney.

Again the American side came back and took the lead with a cross from the right, tapped in by David McDaniel.

With time running out, Oxford managed to scramble an equaliser and take the tie to penalties. But it was not to be their day as First Choice progressed to Saturday’s final, winning 5-4 in the shoot-out.

Meanwhile, in the under 14 Rosebowl semi-final, Finn Harps succumbed to a slick Tampa Rowdies side that played attractive free-flowing football.

The Americans took the lead early on with a 25-yard volley from midfielder Landon Surratt that gave Harps goalkeeper Shea McBride no chance.

Indeed, the Donegal side struggled to get possession of the ball in the first period, with midfielders Esteban Vargas and Hayden Morgan in control for the Rowdies.

Harps’ first shot on goal was notched up after 15 minutes when neat work by Stephen McFadden put through Tyler Durning but his shot sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

In the closing minute of the half, it was the US side that went 2-0 ahead. A corner from the left wasn’t cleared by the Donegal side and Morgan crept in at the back post to stab home from four yards.

In the final minutes of the game, Tampa made it 3-0. A long ball down the left, crossed in to the feet of Baylen Young. The neat little winger turned inside his marker before slotting past the helpless goalkeeper.

The tournament committee appreciate the support of all sponsors - Derry & Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, The Executive Office, Tourism NI, Department for Communities (North West office), Hughes Insurance, Seagate, Inner City trust, Brunswick Moviebowl, Derry Credit Union.