County Down Dale Farm Milk cup Junior side responded well from Saturday afternoon’s defeat against St Kevins under 15’s with a 5-3 victory over a representative side from Eircom League side Shelbourne. However the young Down lads did not have it their own way as they went 1-0 Down inside the opening minutes thanks to a left footed piled-river from 30 yards into the top left hand corner of the net, giving Thompson in the Down goal no chance. The Down lads did not let their heads drop and were rewarded 10 minutes later after good work from Lennon set up Kelly who smashed it into the corner of the net to make it 1-1. Graham almost made it 2-1 after some neat work from White set the Down forward up and he was unlucky with his effort. Kelly who was in the middle of the action almost grabbed his brace but he headed over following neat interplay down the right hand side. Minutes later Down were rewarded for their best performance of the weekend as Graham netted with a low drive from the edge of the box. Despite being in the ascendency a defensive error resulted in the Down central defender hacking down the Shelbourne attacker inside the box. A penalty was duly awarded and the Dundalk forward dusted himself down and slotted the resulting spot kick past the keeper. Sharvin who had just come on, was immediately involved as he made a driving run before slipping team mate Cassidy through on goal but the keeper was out quick and did well to deny the powerful striker. Cassidy again went close minutes later but his long rasping drive was well saved by the Shelbourne goalkeeper. Down who had re-took control of the game went back in front through Garland, as he turned the Shelbourne defender and hit an instinctive shot from 25 yards out, which left the goalkeeper motionless as the ball landed in the top right hand corner. Kyle Spiers Junior Squad kicked on from then and made it 4-2 through Mitchell. Mitchell was again on hand to make it 5-2, blasting in from close range after some nice approach play. Garland physical presence was causing all sorts of problems for the Shelbourne side and was heavily involved in all that was good from Down going forward. It was almost six when the lively McArthur skipped by a couple of tackles and fizzed a ball across the box to Gorman who saw his effort well saved from the goalkeeper. Shelbourne got a consolation goal through another penalty as the match finished up 5-3. It was a morale boosting victory after yesterday’s defeat and saw the Down lads finish the weekend on a high. Kyle Spiers will have saw plenty of things to be positive about as he prepares his side for the Dale Farm Milk Cup proper in just under 5 weeks time.
John Bailie’s Premier outfit finished off an impressive weekend as they defeated a strong Dundalk under 19 side 2-1 in a close fought encounter. Despite the age difference there was little to separate the sides in the opening stages of the first half as both teams cancelled each other out. The first chance of the game came when Rice sent a ball over the Dundalk defence for the lively Johnston to chase, the Goalkeeper arrived first to the ball but picked it up outside his area.The Dundalk goalkeeper somehow escaped without a card but Left winger Lennox almost punished him for his error in judgement as he whipped the resulting Free-kick off the bar. The ball came down off the bar and looked to have gone in but the referee dismissed the Down claims and it remained 0-0. The next chance fell to Dundalk and after the ball ricocheted inside the Down box it fell to their striker on the penalty spot and he saw his shot tipped wide by Fleetham. Down took the lead with 10 minutes to go until half time after a looping cross from McAvoy on the right crashed against the bar and fell perfectly to Down striker Howard who made no mistake with a calm finish from 5 yards. The second half picked up where the first ended, with Down on top. They capitalised on this pressure and made it 2-0 through an excellent goal from the dangerous Johnston. The forward who was released following skilful play from Lennox as he drifted past 2 players before sliding the ball to Johnston. The Down forward still had plenty to do and evaded a couple of Dundalk defenders before drilling the ball into the right hand corner with his left footed shot. Dundalk pulled one back as a long range effort evaded Fleetham in the Down goal. As the game became stretched in the dying embers of the match it was John Bailie’s side who looked more likely to add to their lead. Lennox against came off the left hand side before passing to Foster whose long range drive struck the foot off the Dundalk post. As both sides made a raft of changes the game lost its early ebb and flow. Nonetheless John Bailie will certainly be happy with his side’s commanding performance against a side a couple of years older.