Unfortunately the planned game against the Glentoran Select side on Tuesday 25th June 2019 has been cancelled.
With it only a month away until the start of this season’s STATSports Super Cup NI, preparations are continuing for the County Down squad, with the Premiers entertaining Ards u20s on Saturday 22nd June.
After a disappointing day out last time round, Manager Bailie was looking for a lot more from his players, which he received with a 3-2 win in a fixture his side never looked like losing.
The best chance of the opening encounters fell to Ards forward Hollywood following good work from Ferguson, however his shot was saved well by Dalzell on 6 mins.
From the resulting corner the ball was cleared to Magee on the right touchline, who looked up and played the perfect pass into the path of Doyle close to the penalty spot. Following a good first touch the Newcastle player made enough room for himself to knock the ball past the oncoming keeper, giving his side the lead.
Five minutes later it was Hollywood who turned provider, pulling back from the right touchline to line Moore up with a shooting opportunity. Dalzell was again equal to the effort, but he could do nothing as Munn pounced on the rebound to level the scores from close range.
Doyle continued to look lively up front, but it took until 25 minutes for his good work to gain reward, with his pass setting up Archer on the edge of the box. Unable to keep hold of the shot, Smyth dropped the ball into the path of Magee, who restored his side’s lead with a tap in.
Within four minutes of the second half the County Down boys extended their lead via Bickerstaff, after Archer managing to find the midfielder lurking at the back right post following his good cross from the opposite side.
Ards continued to find it difficult to break down their opposition, however an exceptional ball from McKee from just over his half on the right found Cully inside the box, whose smart thinking enabled him to flick the ball backwards and reduce the deficit.
There was little further action to truly trouble either keeper, however McVeigh continued to show glimpses of undoubted skill, with his footwork enabling him to create space for himself on several occasions.
Next up for the Co. Down Premier Squad is on Sunday 30th Jun 2019, with them hosting Ards u20, Co. Armagh and Friends Academy in the Mourne Cup at Bangor Sportsplex, kicking off at 11am.
On Saturday 29th Jun 2019 the Junior Squad are also in action at the same venue, with Ards U16, Co. Armagh and Co. Tyrone competing for the Nevin Spence Memorial Trophy. Kick off 11am.’
The County Down Premier Squad take on Ards u20s in a friendly on Sat 22 Jun 2019, with a 12pm ko at Bangor Sportsplex.
While most players are now looking towards a short break before embarking on pre-season, there is no rest for the Down SuperCup NI squads, as preparations continue for the opening fixtures of the tournament on the 29th July 2019.
The Premier squad kick things off for Down at Coleraine University, with a difficult tie against the impressive Right to Dream at 3pm, before the Juniors take centre stage at Coleraine Showgrounds against Chilean side O’Higgins at the later time of 7pm.
John Bailie’s Premier squad continue their quest for glory the next day in Coleraine against Mexican side Atlante at 3.15pm, before the Juniors travel to Ballymoney to face Global Premier Soccer shortly afterwards at 5pm.
On the Wednesday Gary McAlister’s Juniors are in action at 3pm against Strikers in Ballymoney, while the Premiers kick off their final group game at the same time against Riseisha HS of Japan in Castlerock.
This weekend sees some more intercounty action in the George Henderson Tournament, as the local sides continue to build up match time.
Kicking off at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Cookstown the Premiers face Fermanagh with a 10am start, before their attentions move to Armagh at 1pm. The Juniors first match sees them take on Armagh at 11:30am, before the day finishes with Tyrone the opponents at 2.30pm.