U16 beat league champions to claim cup

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MOYOLA PARK U16

Match Report – Saturday 20th April 2013

Mid Ulster Youth League Knock Out Cup Final

Moyola finished off a tough cup run by winning the Mid Ulster Youth League Knockout Cup on a crisp sunny morning in Lurgan. Moyola entered this final as underdogs against newly crowned league champions Sunnyside. After being beaten twice this season by the Lurgan side the Moyola lads knew they would be in for a tough game, but from the outset believed they had the ability to surprise their opponents. The nerves of both teams could easily be seen as each found it difficult to settle into any sort of rhythm of play in the early stages of the half. Moyola captain Darragh came closest to breaking the deadlock as his free-kick was palmed away by the keeper. Moyola failed to get to grips with the strong blustery breeze with both teams cancelling each other out with Connery and Downey having an exceptional game in the centre of defence and McGrogan providing protection in front of his back four. Cassidy dealt comfortably with the few threats of crosses and set pieces. The half drew to a close with both teams on level pegging.

Moyola took to the field after the break and certainly started the stronger of the two even though they were now playing into the wind. The first clear cut chance came after three minutes when Flanagan and McElhatton worked a neat one-two on the right and McElhatton delivered a low teasing cross into the six-yard box. The onrushing Glass stretched out a foot, taking it off the boot of Doyle, but only managed to direct the ball agonisingly wide of the far post. Darragh’s strong tackling in the middle of the park constantly upset the Sunnyside play. He played a wide ball to Evans, advancing from right back, who slide a ball down the channel for Flanagan to run onto but his low shot from just inside the box again went narrowly wide of the far upright. The outcome of the game was then to be settled as the game entered the last quarter hour. An Evans long throw into the area was chested down by Glass and the big striker turned quickly and his left-footed shot came off the post and then the static keeper to nestle in the back of the net. Two minutes later and Moyola doubled their lead. Moyola won the ball in the right back position and Evans laid a simple ball off to Darragh who fed Flanagan to use his pace to race into the area again and slot past the keeper into the far corner from a narrow angle. The Moyola lads continued to defend stoutly as Sunnyside threw players forward as one and all threw themselves in front of every shot to protect their lead. Flanagan broke for a second time through the centre and nut-megged the keeper with a low drive from 12 yards for his second of the game and Moyola’s third. A Sunnyside free-kick from 25 yards brought Cassidy into action as he tipped the effort over the bar. The last minute of the game saw Moyola kill the game off as Flanagan again broke down the right hand side to beat two defenders to cross for Glass to have the task of a simple tap in from two yards to couple his brace. The final whistle saw Moyola four nil winners brought ecstatic scenes from both Moyola players and their travelling supporters.

This was fantastic, hardworking and disciplined victory from the Moyola lads topped off by another clean sheet and nothing less than they deserved from their attitude to the game. Each player worked tirelessly for the team and were presented with the Cup by MUYL officials.