Happy Hoops bring the cup home

Lurgan Celtic Youth celebrate.
Lurgan Celtic Youth celebrate.
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Lurgan Celtic Youth were successful in their bid to win the George Savage Cup, defeating Dromore Amateurs Youth in a well contested final held at Planters Park,Dollingstown on Saturday.

Celtic went into the game as favourites due to their league form, but the opening exchanges were dominated by Dromore with the young Hoops looking nervous and unco-ordinated.

However, they took the lead against the run of play on 12 minutes after a quick break ended in Ruiri McCann heading home.

This seemed to settle the Celts down and on 15 minutes the lead was extended when they cut through the Dromore defence for Kevin McAlinden to slot home.

The good sized crowd were enjoying the game and Dromore reduced the arrears after slack play in midfield by Celtic let the Dromore attack make a quick break and score past the exposed Jamie McAtavey in the Hoops goal.

Celtic were now dominating most exchanges with McAlinden pulling the defence all over the place and Michael Bunting probing and passing through the midfield

Celtic then restored their two goal lead with a well worked goal as McAlinden and Jonathan Douglas carved the defence open down the right and the ball was played into the area where McCann headed back to Bunting two yards outside the penalty area. He took delivery of the ball and crashed a brilliant finish into the top right hand corner of the net, a goal of real quality.

The second half saw Celtic bid to increase the lead but some erratic finishing defied their efforts and Dromore tested McAtavey but his handling was first class as he kept his goal intact .

The young Hoops were denied a larger victory margin when goals were ruled out for offside in the second half, firstly after McAlinden and Caolan Lavery who had worked to exhaustion were replaced by Connell O’Hagan and Niall McKeever, and this was a contentious decision while moments later they again scored with the referee ruling it offside. This one looked an even more legitimate goal.

Dromore tried hard but couldn’t make any headway in their efforts and although they never reached the heights they normally hit.

Celtic were deserving winners in what could be the first of more then one piece of silverware this talented young side look capable off and the onfield discipline and maturity they showed is testament to the excellent training and game preparation by manager John Devlin assistant manager Martin McGuigan and Marty Thompson.

All in all a good all round team performance by a close knit bunch of lads who attended a function with the cup in the Celtic no 1 Club later in support of the Down’s and Proud charity to celebrate a fine win.