Causeway Chronicle

New winner for Premier Section after Londonderry shock Manchester United

There will be a new winner etched on the Premier trophy of the SuperCupNI after County Londonderry and Tigres UANL from Mexico sealed their place in the decider.

Marty Smith’s Londonderry side pulled off the shock of the tournament to beat a strong United side on penalties at a raucous Coleraine Showgrounds.  The county were 1-0 down due to a Shea Lacey penalty in the first-half until added time when Alfie Friars gave the side their just rewards with a brilliant header from a corner delivery.  

In what was a feisty encounter at Coleraine, goal scorer Lacey and Nathaniel Mapengu were sent off for the Red Devils who failed to keep their cool unlike Londonderry who scored all four of their penalties to book their place at Ballymena Showgrounds Final.  

Harry Pearson was the hero for Londonderry saving James Bailey’s penalty before Jayce Fitzgerald missed to seal the win for Londonderry.  

There won’t be an all-county final at Ballymena though as County Antrim were on the wrong end of penalty drama at Riada.  Mexican side Tigres edged past Antrim 5-3 in the shootout after the game finished 1-1 in normal time. 

The Mexicans lead at the break through Gustavo Gonzalez before Ryan Donnelly equalised in the second-half to take the game to penalties.  Londonderry will take on Tigres at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday with silverware on the line and kick off is 6pm. 

There was an all-county clash in the Globe semi-final with County Tyrone coming out the victors over County Down.  A brace from Calum Lenehan-Hunter helped his side beat Down 4-1 at Parker Avenue.  

This win tees up a Globe Final against Rangers on Friday after they defeated Japanese side Ichifuna 4-2.  The game was 1-1 at the break before the crowd at The Heights were treated to five second-half goals. After his hat-trick yesterday, Christopher Eadie went one better at The Heights scoring four to make him a strong contender for the golden boot in the Premier Section. 

The Premier Section’s Vase semi-finals threw up plenty of penalty shootout drama with both ties going to spot kicks.  Both games finished 2-2 after normal time with Irish outfit St Kevin’s coming out 6-5 victors in the penalty shootout against Brighton and Hove Albion.  

The tournament newcomers from England will now have to play in the Vase 3rd place playoff against fellow English side Newcastle United on Friday after they also lost on penalties to county Fermanagh at The Warren.  Guy Bloomer kept up his goal scoring form on Thursday, but the Northeast side ultimately lost 3-0 on spot kicks in Portstewart.  

The Premier Section Bowl Final will be contested by County Armagh and American outfit Surf Select after wins over Dundalk Schoolboys and Northeast Rush respectively.  The county were the big winners of the section, defeating their Irish opponents 5-1.  

Armagh’s Dominick Ambroziewick scored once again in the win to take his tally to three goals.  Surf Select’s 2-1 win over their fellow Americans was their first taste of victory in the tournament and their first goals, which were both scored by Alex Perkin.  Surf Select will take on Armagh on Friday at Limavady Showgrounds with kick-off at 6pm.  

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Maurice Bradley