Down 3-1 Partick Thistle
The week began for the Junior side at Anderson Park, Coleraine, where they faced Sottish side Partick Thistle. A bright start from the Down boys saw a number of chances created before they deservedly took the lead through Caolan Conlon. Growing in confidence, the Down lead was extended by Dromore lad Jake Corbett who scored with a looping header. Even before half-time it was 3-0 to the county side when Ferris was tripped in the box and captain Daniel Smith converted the penalty. Partick’s contribution to the game came all but too late, when they reduced the deficit through a Galasso goal in the final stages.
Down 2-1 Club NI
Second up for the Juniors was a game with Club NI. Our boys found themselves a goal behind very early on and only some resolute play prevented their opponents scoring again. Ahead of the half time break, Nassem Ouldhamlat drew the game level, when he headed past the Club NI keeper. Early in the second half, Down took a lead when Ruari O’Hare converted from a Glover cross. From there the Down boys put in a professional display to see the game out and record a second win on the trot.
Down 1-1 Southampton
The final group game saw the boys take on Southampton at the Riada Stadium, with qualification still hanging in the balance. After a tense start to the match it was Down who edged ahead on 20 minutes when Callum Ferris produced a stunning goal, chipping the goalkeeper from all of 35 yards. On the other side of half-time Southampton’s Vicente Besuijen squared the game with a thunderous shot past keeper Smith. The remainder of the match failed to separate the sides, with both teams left to claim a point.
Globe Semi-finals: Down 1-0 Rangers
Seven points gained from three groups matches saw Down into the semi-finals of the Globe competition where Rangers awaited. The Scottish side enjoyed the lion’s share of the play but found a determined Down side in their way. Early on Down passed up a great chance to go ahead when Ben Cushnie missed a spot kick. Later in the half Rangers were awarded a penalty but keeper Scott Pengally made a great save from Awokoya-Mebude. As the match progressed chance after chance was squandered by Rangers, with Down doing enough to keep themselves in the game. The only goal of the match would come from Down’s Jack Conlon, who bent a superb free kick past the Rangers keeper midway through the second half to book a place in Friday’s final.
Globe Final: Down 1-1 Armagh (Armagh win on penalties)
It was two county sides who would contest this year’s Globe final as Down took on Armagh at Broughshane. Over ninety minutes, the teams could not be separated, as the match finished one apiece and so a shootout beckoned to decide the destination of the trophy. The result ended up as close as could be as Armagh edged home 9-8 winners of the shootout to lift the Globe and break young Down hearts.
Nevin Spence Memorial Trophy: Dylan Stewart (Junior team)
Junior Player of the Tournament: Dan Smith
Junior Top scorer: Callum Ferris