Premier side lose in Plate final

THE County Armagh Premier side were beaten in the semi-final of the Plate competition while the Juniors lost in the semi-final of the Vase competition.

The Premier side sealed their place in the final of the Plate competition with a 2-1 win against New Zealand side Otago on Wednesday.

Armagh took the lead on 14 minutes when Aaron Duke’s powerful shot came back off the crossbar but Nathan Lavery was on hand to score.

Into the second half and Armagh remained comfortable and they doubled their lead on 56 minutes when Lavery scored his second of the game - again set up by Duke.

Three minutes from time Otago pulled one back but by then the result was already beyond any doubt.

There was disappointment for the Premiers in the final of the Plate competition on Thursday.

They lost out 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to a Benfica side who were reduced to nine players during what proved to be an ill-tempered second half.

Armagh created plenty of chances through Aaron Duke, Michael Finnegan and Nathan Lavery, but all failed to find the target.

And 15 minutes from the break Benfica scored against the run of play - a lead they held until the half time whistle.

Armagh were level midway through the second half when Sean Mallon delivered from the right for Jordan Dane to head in his third goal of the competition.

Into penalties and Benfica held their nerve, scoring all four of their spot kicks while on Duke, Mallon and Jack McNally could score for Armagh.

The Milk Cup ended on a high for the Junior team with a more than comfortable 2-0 win against Ipswich Town on Thursday.

Dylan Hatton gave Armagh a deserved lead with a well taken goal before Andy Hoey was on target with yet another pin-point free kick.

The Juniors lost out in the semi-final of the Vase competition when they were beaten 1-0 by the North Dublin Schoolboy League’s representative side.

Armagh had some decent chances to take the lead but they were frustrated to be held to a scoreless draw going into the break.

The game followed the same pattern in the second half but it was the Dublin side who scored what ultimately proved to be the winner.

The County Armagh Milk Cup officials would like to thank all those who bought or took out adverts in the 21st anniverary programme.

A limited number of programmes are still available.

The 80-page publication charts the history of the County Armagh Milk Cup Association and includes photographs of every team to have participated in the tournament.

As well as profiles on both the 2012 Junior and Premier teams, the connection between County Armagh and Tottenham Hotspur is revealed.

Interviews with former players - Luke McCullough, who is now with Manchester United and Keith O’Hara, captain of Portadown - also give insight on how the Milk Cup has helped progress the careers of footballers.

Priced at just £3, the souvenir programme is a must for any former player and is available from any committee member.