Lurgan Town Under 14 Colts played in the 2019 Football Cup Barcelona on weekend of April 27-28
Football Cup Barcelona is an international youth football tournament for boys and girls, held in the Salou and Cambrils area, south of Barcelona.
Around 100 teams from 15 countries participate in the tournament. Last year the Colts took part in a tournament in Blackpool. This was their first time taking part at the Barcelona competition.
Lurgan’s first game was against Mallow United from County Cork in Ireland. In the first half, Mallow had several corners but otherwise the game was very even. Overall, Lurgan gave a very good account of themselves in a tight game. There was a lack of clear cut opportunities for either side and the game ended 0-0. A solid start for Lurgan.
(It turned out that Mallow United won every game after that and were the eventual winners of the 2005 competition)
Lurgan’s second game was against a team from Paraguay called Los Amigos. It was quite even in the first half but Los Amigos took the lead with a free kick from a long distance and the score was 1-0 at half time.
Lurgan struggled to create chances and the Paraguay team dominated the second half and scored a second with a good shot. The game ended 2-0.
In a frustrating final game of day one against French team Football Club Crolles Bernin, Lurgan had 2 men sent off and ended up losing the game 5-0 though the real gap between the teams is smaller than the scoreline suggests.
The team stuck together and battled hard throughout the day and can be proud of their efforts. End of day one.
Lurgan started day two with a game against Wilton United from County Cork.
Lurgan opened the scoring when Liam Campbell passed the ball down the middle and Jack O’Brien timed his run very well to run clear and he lobbed the advancing keeper beautifully to make it 1-0 to Lurgan. Wilton then equalised and it was 1-1 at half time.
At the start of the second half, Noah Treanor made a vital goal line clearance to keep the score level.
With the score finishing 1-1 at full time and it being a play-off game, the next stage was penalties.
As always with penalties, it was an agonising watch for everyone but Lurgan ran out winners in the penalties 8-7.
Adam Banks, Joey Macdonald, Noah Treanor, James Green, Jack Mullins, Jack O’Brien, Daniel Graham and Liam Campbell scored for Lurgan and James Hamber made the crucial save of Wilton’s last penalty, pushing the ball onto the crossbar. Lurgan did brilliantly with the pressure of penalties and the parents…well they just about survived the stress too!!! It was a really exciting finish to a tight game.
In the final game, Lurgan played ROFC Stockel II from Belgium. James Green went close when he ran through on goal but the keeper made a good save. Soon after, Adam Banks passed long to Liam Campbell who put a fantastic cross into the box and Jack O’Brien scored with a lovely left foot volley into the corner.
1-0 to Lurgan at half time.
Lurgan were playing really well despite it being their fifth 40 minute game in 2 days. Lurgan took a 2-0 lead when Joey Macdonald played a long ball through to James Green who slotted the ball past the keeper. That was the final score and a second excellent win for the Colts.
The Colts are a terrific group of boys and the whole team worked exceptionally hard throughout the tournament and got their rewards with 2 great wins.
The parents and coaches are hoarse with shouts, roars and celebrations and everyone is at least one stone heavier after the all inclusive food at the resort!!
Above all, the boys and coaches can return home very proud of their efforts and results and we all head home with a lot of good memories.
The team of stars were…
Ben Cartmill, James Hamber – Adam Banks, Jake Byers, Toby Haire, Aidan Quinn, Noah Treanor – Alexander Banks, Liam Campbell, Daniel Graham, Joey Macdonald, Jack Mullins, Ryan Rafferty – James Green, Jack O’Brien, Caolan Ritchie
Coaches:- Peter Haire, Evan Byers