GLENAVON UNDER-18S LOSE CUP  FINAL IN EXTRA TIME

Glenavon Under-18s 1 Dungannon Swifts Under-18s 2

after extra time

BMG Arena, Annagh, Portadown

Friday 12th April 2024

Glenavon U-18s failed in its attempt to retain the Mid-Ulster Youth Cup. Dungannon Swifts won a closely fought final with a brilliant strike by Shane Trainor ten minutes into extra-time. The game had finished in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

“I can’t fault the boys for effort,” said manager Jack Ross. “They were very committed and gave their all. Unfortunately, on the night, it was not enough. Dungannon edged it with a very well taken goal.”

Playing with the wind, Glenavon was the better team for the first 30 minutes. The young Blues took the lead in the 22nd minute when Daniel Shiel headed Troy Savage’s pinpoint cross past Nathan Hunter. Indeed, they might have doubled their advantage when Charlie McShane released Ronan McAlinden. However, with only Hunter to beat, the normally dependable frontman skied the ball.

Shiel, Daniel heads goal against Dungannon U-18s

Dungannon equalised after 41 minutes. Calum Hunter beat Gracey from 6 yards following good work on the wing by James Burke.

The second half saw the Stangmore Park side impose itself on the contest without turning possession into many clear-cut scoring chances. In the closing minutes James Burke broke through on the left but was stopped by a goal-saving Chris Atherton tackle. Substitute Mattie McNally worked the ball into a shooting position after receiving it tight on the goal-line but he was unable to find a way past Josh Gracey.

Glenavon’s best opening fell to Calum Hamilton 30 yards out. With Nathan Hunter in no man’s land, he attempted to score but miscued and the ball was cleared.

Extra time was almost as cagey as the 90 minutes had been. However, it was enlivened when substitute Elijah Weathered found Trainor on the right with a brilliant 40-yard pass. The young Swifts’ striker controlled the ball with his first touch and blasted it past Gracey with his second.

Trainor, Shane scores winning goal against Glenavon U-18s

Glenavon was unable to fashion an equaliser but failed. Its best effort was a Chris Atherton right foot shot which went wide of a post.

Congratulations to Dungannon on an excellent victory.

GLENAVON: Joshua Gracey, James Heaney, Shane Kearney, Kyron Wiseman-McGee, Shea Burns, Zach Woolsey, Troy Savage, Chris Atherton, Daniel Shiel, Charlie McShane, Ronan McAlinden, SUBS: Tom Hawthorne (not used), Harry O’Neill for Ronan McAlinden, Calum Snodgrass for Charlie McShane, Calum Hamilton for Shane Kearney, Caolan Murphy for Shea Burns.

DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Nathan Hunter, Thomas Connolly, Eoin Morgan, Jack Cowden, Lewis Smyth, Calum McWhirter, James Burke, Oliver Crowe, Calum Hunter, Matthew Brady, Shane Trainor, SUBS: Ben Kelly (not used), Alfie Dallas (not used), Denis Hudak (not used), Mattie McNally for Jack Cowden, Elijah Weathered for Matthew Brady.

REFEREE: Christopher McArdle.

Dungannon Swifts with Mid Ulster Youth Cup