Sunnyside for Bannsiders

COLERAINE under-11’s will contest the NIBFA Cup final after registering a victory in the final four against Oxford Sunnyside at the weekend…

NIBFA Cup semi-final

Coleraine 2-1 Oxford Sunnyside

The Coleraine Under 11’s went through to the NIBFA Cup Final after a competitive match against Oxford Sunnyside from Lurgan last Saturday.

The game started with both teams a little nervous and giving away possession in the middle of the park. Oxford arguably settled the quicker of the two teams, creating a couple of chances that were narrowly of target. Coleraine slowly started to grow into the game and started creating chances of their own.

Dara had a shot that flew past the post, and Pierce went close with a headed effort which was just off target. Conor and Tiernan continued to press down the wings linking well with Thomas and chances were created as Coleraine gradually edged on top. Matthew P provided a solid platform in a defensive midfield role. As the game edged towards half-time Pierce found himself clean through on goal, only to be brought down on the edge of the box. He then got up, dusted himself down, and cooly smashed the resulting free-kick into the bottom corner to give the Coleraine kids a deserved lead at half-time.

Into the second half, Coleraine were playing against a stiff breeze. Oxford came out of the traps fast in search of an early equaliser. The Coleraine defence stood firm, with Charlie in nets confidently dealing with any danger. After five minutes, Coleraine then freshened up the attack by introducing Harry. He made an immediate impact by coming off the bench and 10 seconds later he got Coleraine’s second, after being played through on goal he cut onto his right foot and duly smashed his effort past the Oxford keeper.

After this Oxford threw absolutely everything at Coleraine. Ashton was then introduced to add some fresh legs. Coleraine sat deeper protecting their lead, and with 10 minutes to play, Oxford got a goal back after the ball fell to their striker who tapped the ball into the empty net.

With a second wind Oxford pressed but our defence of Matthew M, Ross and Daniel were superb as they blocked,headed and threw their bodies in the way of any chances Oxford created. In a last throw of the dice Oxford had a shot from distance which was destined for the top corner only for Charlie to get finger tips to. After this the full-time whistle went to leave the score 2-1 to Coleraine.

The boys celebrated wildly at the final whistle after closing out a hard fought victory. They now look forward in anticipation of their big day out on May 6th when they will play Glentoran in the NIBFA Cup Final!

The boys have achieved something special in reaching the show piece final in their first year of competitive football. It is especially pleasing to the coaches that all twelve kids have been with the club since soccer school and this success is a testimony to their fantastic attitude and subsequent development. Well done kids!