New-Bridge U14 Schools League Champions
Cailum Meara collects U14 Small Schools League Cup from Match official Derek Wright, after beating Integrated College Dungannon 3-1 in the final. New-Bridge went 1-0 down after ICD number 10 got behind New-Bridge defender Cailum Meara to ease past Goalkeeper Dylan Stewart. New-Bridge responded well gaining more possession, but chances were limited due to the excellent defending of ICD number 4 who seemed to cover all areas of defence. New-Bridge continued to control possession using the width of the pitch to stretch ICD defence, which resulted in a corner. From a Conor Weir delivery Captain Meara was able to somehow nudge the ball into the ICD net, 1-1 at half time.
In the second half New-Bridge gained further control of the game with Stephen Gallagher working down the right side and linking more with Conor and Peter. Stephen moved into a more central role and it was from a run through the centre that New-Bridge took the lead. Gallagher was through on goal, but was taken down inside the box before he could manage a shot and almost certain goal. Peter McGrath collected the ball from the corner, placed it on the penalty spot and finished with ease to lead 2-1. Possession and control of the game were now with the away team and ICD looked tired and withdrawn in the heat. The game was finished off in spectacular style as Josh Martin hit an amazing left foot curler from the edge of the ‘D’ to find the top right corner, leaving the ICD goalkeeper little chance of the save. Celebrations were limited as there was 5 minutes left, but Haddow and Meara looked comfortable, with Martin and Winters controlling the midfield.
Respectful words from ICD coach complimented the second half performance of the New-Bridge players, who deserved to win this match. New-Bridge players worked hard for this victory, but mention must go to their impressive season. Previous league victories over Tandragee JHS, and a wintery win against Armagh City HS, were followed up with a win against close rivals Banbridge HS to reach the final.