COLERAINE Academy under-11’s suffer defeat to Glentoran in NIBFA Cup Final but their coaches are proud of their achievements this season…
NIBFA Cup Final 2019
Coleraine 1-5 Glentoran
Coleraine Under 11 made the trip to Belfast on Monday morning to play SEBYL league winners Glentoran in the NIBFA Cup final.
The game started with both teams showing caution and trying to get into their rhythm. Both teams created a couple of early chances, with Pierce, Ashton and Thomas all having chances but failing to capitalise. Coleraine’s goalkeeper Charlie started the game very well pulling off a few good saves in the first 15 minutes.
Coleraine’s rhythm was disrupted when Dara was forced off the field with a head injury midway through the first half. After this Coleraine had to reorganise and lost a valuable physical presence in the centre of the pitch. This proved a decisive moment as Glentoran began to dominate in midfield. Then Glens then took the lead when they found space out right and finished low to Charlie’s left. Coleraine continued fighting and had a few half chances but it was Glentoran who went in with a slight advantage at HT.
Into the second half, and Glentoran came out very strong, hitting the post and crossbar in quick succession. Glentoran then doubled their lead when their attacker burst through the defence and blasted the ball into the roof of the net. Shortly after this Coleraine suffered another injury blow as they lost Matthew P to a leg injury after going in for a tackle. Another reshuffle was necessary to the team again.
Credit to Ross, Daniel and Matthew M the defence stood firm. Coleraine tried to play with width, with Conor and Tiernan providing an outlet. As a result Coleraine always carried a threat and mid way through the second half Coleraine got a deserved goal back through Harry who danced his way through the Glentoran defence before firing the ball between the keepers legs. This gave Coleraine some encouragement, however, this was short lived as within 2 minutes Glentoran had restored their two goal lead.
This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the boys and their heads dropped conceding two more goals late on to leave the score 5-1 to Glentoran.
The kids have been exceptional this season and have been on a fantastic journey, getting through to the NIBFA final. To finish runner up in a competition of close to 90 teams is in itself a great achievement. They can look forward to their debut in National League with great enthusiasm.
Finally a special mention to our opponents who were worthy winners today. The Glentoran team have now completed an impressive league and cup double. They play attractive football and are a credit to their Club. Well done.