Mixed fortunes for Down sides on opening fixtures of Dublin weekend!!

Kyle Spiers’ County Down Dale Farm Milk Cup Junior squad were defeated 3-2 by North Dublin Schoolboys in the first of their three matches in Dublin this weekend. Despite the result, Kyle Spiers will be able to take plenty of positives, as his side produced a spirited performance against a team a year older and with 4 internationals in it.


County Down began the game in confident fashion playing the ball out from the back at every opportunity. On 5 minutes the early pressure was almost rewarded after Nelson went close from a Free-kick won after Bates was brought down on the edge of the Dublin Box. McMaster who was lively in the opening exchanges went even closer minutes later only for his effort to be denied by the Dublin Schoolboys keeper. Then on 15 minutes, after a clever through ball with the outside of his right foot by McClements, Cassidy was put through but the keeper was out quick to deny the big striker. After the early flurry of chances for Kyle Spiers’ side the Dublin schoolboys came back into it and began to put the Down back four under pressure. Despite loosing the ascendency in the match Down were dealing well with everything the North Dublin Schoolboys had to throw at them. And as the second third came to a close, both teams were cancelling each other out and the game had draw written all over it.


But as the last third began the game sparked into life as an in-swinging corner was met by their centre half who looped a header past the Down keeper to make it 1-0 to the North Dublin schoolboys. County Down responded immediately as Garland who had been moved up front in the last third latched onto a loose pass from the North Dublin Schoolboys goalkeeper and as he bared down on goal delayed for a split second, allowing the opposition defender to catch up and the resulting collision winded up in the North Dublin Schoolboys net to make it 1-1. The North Dublin side looked the fresher of the two sides and it seemed only a matter of time before they regained the lead. This duly happened 5 minutes after the County Down equaliser. As another in-swinging corner from the left was met by the same central defender who this time powered it past the Down goalkeeper to make it 2-1. It was 3-1 shortly after, as the North Dublin Schoolboys striker slotted in from 12 yards after the Down lads failed to clear their lines. Despite loosing 3-1 Down refused to give up and got their just rewards for a plucky performance with a consolation goal from Ciaran Kelly in the last minutes of the game, as he rose to meet a Fearon cross. The game finished up 3-2 and it could have been a very different scoreline had Kyle Spiers’ men took advantage of their early pressure. Nonetheless with the Milk Cup still over a month away, performances and not results will be more important for Kyle Spiers Dale Farm Milk Cup Junior Squad. The next game from the weekend in Dublin will take place today against St Kevins’ under 15’s in what promises to be another stern test for the County Down lads. The game will kick of at 2pm and directions can be found from the St. Kevins Boys website.


John Bailie’s Dale Farm premier Down Milk Cup squad faired slightly better than their Junior counterparts in the first game of the weekend as beat North Dublin Schoolboys 3-0 after a blistering first half performance. Picking up where they left of last Sunday, the County Down premier side were in in impressive as they dismantled an experienced North Dublin schoolboys side with some slick attacking play. Adam Salley went close on 8 minutes as the powerful striker went through on goal only for his shot to go wide of the goal. Down got their reward for an impressive start on 12 minutes When Dempster was one the end of a fine passing move involving McGovern, Salley and Michael Johnston to fire home from the edge of the box. Coffey then went close from close range but the Portavogie man was not to be denied after he flicked home from a flicked home from a Reece Neale free kick on 23 minutes. County Down who were well in control by this stage continued to press and looked hungry for more goals. Minutes later they got their wish as Salley was again in the midst of the action as he slotted home from 14 yards after being unselfishly set up by striker partner Coffey. Despite going close several more times the first half came to a close with Down very much in control.


The second half saw a much tamer affair with the North Dublin Schoolboys enjoying more possession. However for all their efforts they only created one worthwhile effort on 70 minutes but Fletham in the Down goal made a splendid save. John Bailie will have plenty to smile about the first half performance and another victory will certainly breed confidence as they head into their next game against St Kevins under 18’s later on today. The premier game will kick off at 2pm with the match taking place at Gormaston college.



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