Phil Bows Out In Style

The U19s took to the pitch on Saturday with coach Phil McKinley taking charge of his last game of 11 years service to the 2000 age group. Lurgan took on recently crowned Decor Cup Winners Markethill Swifts in Markethill.

Markethill had won the previous meeting but Lurgan started the game today on the front foot. AndyMcIvor setup Aaron Winters with a great chance to score but Aaron directed his shot to the only defender on the line. Andy should have scored himself but hit wide. Markethill scored against the run of play as Lurgan’s defence were caught napping. However, Alex Woods was on hand to score after a Lewis McKinley’s shot was saved. Alex’s goal was the 500th for this age group in 8 seasons of 11 aside football. Lewis and Alex both had free kicks saved by the keeper and Simon Wilson headed over on a couple of occasions.

The second half was Lurgan’s half as they dominated most of it with Jack Evans winning numerous tackles. Lewis McKinley put Lurgan in the lead when he collected the ball in the opposition half and left a couple of players behind to unleash a 20 yarder past the keeper. Markethill got an equaliser after their midfielder hit an opportunist effort over Adam into the goal. Alex Woods scored his second of the game after an assist from Andy McIvor to give Lurgan the lead then Aaron Winters got his 19th of the season to extend Lurgan’s lead from an Alex Woods assist. In the last 15 minutes Adam Craig almost scored with a free kick then he made his first outfield appearance as Jonny Russell then Lewis McKinley had a run out in goals. Lurgan’s fifth goal was an Alex Woods penalty his hattrick after Callum Watkins went on a run from the defence into the opposition penalty box and was upended to win the penalty. The final goal was scored by Mark Boyd with a superb finish after good link up play with Odhran Crozier. In the last seconds Tim Millen went on a run through the midfield but was fouled. Lewis watched his free kick hit the wall and the ref blew the final whistle. Phil’s reign ended with a convincing 6-2 win.

It was a excellent team performance with Brett Smyth, Jonny Russell, Lewis McKinley and Alex Woods in particular standing out.

Big thanks from Phil to all the players throughout the season for their dedication and to all the players that have appeared in the 11 years of his time as coach.