The County Down STATSports SuperCup NI squad finished runners up at the Gerry Reynolds Memorial Cup in their first outing together, with a record of two wins and one loss.
Kicking off the tournament Gary McAlister’s side faced Dubliner’s Cherry Orchard and it took only 9 minutes for the impressive Scott Atchison to get his name on the scoresheet, following good work from Joe Hopes at the back. Four minutes later Bradley Ingram powered down the left hand side, before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the right hand side of the net to increase his side’s lead.
Atchison was on the scoresheet again within a minute of the restart, with the Crusaders striker hanging in the air to meet a good cross from the right with a power header, before Orchard grabbed a late consolation.
County Armagh were next up and it was Sam Glenfield’s turn to find the net, with a neat finish under the keeper on 16 minutes. The second half was only a minute old when Seamus McNulty struck an unstoppable freekick from 25 yards. Atchison grabbed his third of the tournament in the 12th minute of the second half, before Harry Norton tapped in to an open net four minutes later to complete the scoring.
The final game of the day saw the County Down men up against the Friends Select Academy, with a soft penalty being the difference between the sides, which was converted past keeper Matthew Evans, despite his best attempts to reach the ball with a dive to his left.
Although there was disappointment not to come away with the trophy, Manager Gary McAlister was happy with his squad’s overall performance and attitude, highlighting that the tournament was a good exercise, which provided a valuable lesson as a defeat in the opening game of the SuperCup NI would bring his side’s chances of success to an end.
County Down player of the tournament went to Glentoran’s Harry Wilson, who showed great composure and a reading of the game beyond his years from the centre of the defence.