MOIRA FC’s under-12s wrote their names into the short history of the club by winning their first ever competitive game to knock St Mary’s out of the NIBFA Cup.
Stepping up from playing 9-a-side in the Mid-Ulster Games Development Programme to play their first official 11-a-side match against a team from the South Belfast Youth League, the Moira 2002s emulated their 2001 counterparts who 12 months earlier also beat St Mary’s at the same stage of the competition.
They struck twice in each half to secure their passage into the last 16, where NIBFA National League side Carniny Youth await.
Moira threatened early in the game before taking the lead 10 minutes in. Goalkeeper Jake Coulter sent a long kick into the opposition half which Oliver Bradley did well to control. He then pushed the ball into the path of Rhys Gregory and the striker’s pace took him away from the defence before he rounded the goalkeeper and stroked home. The lead was doubled following a great move. Evan Welch showed great skill as he faked a cross to play a short pass inside to Corey Coulter and continued his run to collect the return ball before his cross was turned out for a corner.
Welch took the kick and swung the ball into the goalmouth where Coulter was on hand to pounce on a poor clearance and fire home his shot from 10 yards.
Moira struck their third within two minutes of the restart to make the game was made safe.
The play broke down the left before the ball was sent into the box andJack Houston produced a sweet chip over the goalkeeper from eight yards.
Daniel Kennedy came off the bench to score the fourth.
The defence of Matthew McCormick, Luke Allison, Michael Dane and Max Walsh had looked solid throughout the game, with Alexander Allen – who had also played in the 2001’s historic win last season – working hard in front of them.
They were denied a clean sheet in the closing stages when St Mary’s scored after the ball wasn’t cleared from a corner.
The full-time whistle denied Moira a possible fifth goal, with Daniel Kennedy breaking away from the defence just as the referee blew for time.
Team: J Coulter, M McCormick, M Dane, A Allen, L Allison, M Walsh, J Houston, C Coulter, R Gregory, O Bradley, E Welch. Subs: D Kennedy for R Gregory, R Holland for M McCormick, S Burke for E Welch, L Cox for J Houston, L Kennedy for O Bradley.
New members are always welcome and a new age group is scheduled to start in the coming weeks. If you have a child who is interested in joining Moira FC or you would simply like to find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org