Junior Team 2 Swindon Town 2 (Down win 4-3 on penalties)

The Junior team booked their place in Friday’s Bowl final with a penalty shootout win over Swindon Town at Clough.

The Down team had led 2-0 at the break only to be pegged by the English visitors, but a double penalty save by Ryan Dalzell in the shootout sent them on their way to the final.

A great start from Down saw them ahead on seven minutes when Eoin Teggart slipped a pass inside for Aaron Brown, who finished coolly under the goalkeeper.

On 14 minutes it was 2-0 as a long kick out from Dalzell found Aiden Steele high on the left and he cut inside a defender to surprise the keeper with a low shot that crept just inside the post.

In a more than comfortable first half showing, Brown had the luxury of hooking a shot over the crossbar, while the goalkeeper also pushed a shot from Teggart into the side netting. Right on the half time whistle Swindon pulled one back when Christian Rowe thumped into the roof of the net, after Dalzell had made a good initial save.

Swindon upped their game after the break and pulled the match level on 40 minutes. A corner from the right dropped deep inside the Down area and William King was on hand to knock the ball home.

As Down looked for a reply Brown was unlucky with a 47th minute effort that the goalkeeper pushed around his post but the danger was increasing at the other end. With seven minutes left a Swindon free kick from the left was knocked out to the edge of the box from where Shay Edwards cracked the ball against the bar.

With no further goals, the match proceed to penalties with both teams successful from first kicks before Down took a 2-1 lead. That became 3-2 before both teams missed their fourth kicks, setting it up for Aiden Steel to strike home the fifth and book the final place.

TEAM: 19 Ryan Dalzell, 2 Dylan Boyle (capt.), 4 Callum McVeigh, 5 Jacob Collins (7 Bailey Locke, 43), 6 Kris Cowan, 8 Aiden Steele, 9 Aaron Brown, 10 Ross Hunter, 11 Eoin Teggart, 14 Benji Magee (17 George Tipton, 36), 16 Naseem Ouldhamlat. Subs not used: Marc Matthews, Cian Gantley, Ben McMorris, Ben Hollinger

Penalty scorers: Hunter, Tipton, McVeigh, Steele.

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