It has been a hive of activity on the North Coast over the last few weeks and while the golfing superstars have moved on, it is the turn of the footballing talent of the future to take centre stage, with the 2019 STATSports SuperCup NI tournament now underway.
County Down’s opening account was always going to be a demanding challenge for John Bailie’s Premier squad, with the 2017 winners Right to Dream up first.
Being no stranger to the big occasion over the years himself, Bailie no doubt had installed the need for discipline and hard work in his young player’s minds and that they delivered in abundance.
Despite the sheer class on offer from the side from Ghana, the Down boys stood strong together and produced a spirited performance to bring their first points of the tournament, with the impressive Dalzell in goal helping to secure a 0-0 draw.
In the other Group A game, Riseisha HS thrashed Atlante 5-0, giving the Down camp plenty to think about in their remaining qualification fixtures for the next stage.
While there was joy as the final whistle went in the Premier’s camp, there was a marked contrast as attentions changed to the Juniors, who commenced their encounter at Coleraine Showgrounds against O’Higgins.
With a squad showing tremendous potential expectations were set high as captain Harry Wilson led his side out, however it wasn’t to be, with their opponents scoring twice in the opening period and running out eventual 2-0 winners.