The 2012 Predators travelled to Loughgall for the annual George Willis Memorial Tournament and were very unlucky not to come home with some silverware.
In the first group match they played tournament favourites Loughgall Youth and the Lurgan boys started very brightly creating a few chances in the first few minutes. Loughgall came into the game a bit more as the game went on with Lurgan’s James Handley and the Loughgall keeper both making important saves to keep the scoreline 0-0.
Next up was Rosario in a game that the Lurgan side dominated after taking an early lead when an Alfie Meneely corner was met with a sublime half volley by Cody Greszta. A second goal came two thirds of the way through the match when Cody Greszta lobbed a pass over the Rosario defence and Lucas Moore reached it before the outrunning keeper to slot home. Rosario did push forward more after this but the backline of Daniel Dawson, Noah Hutchinson and Samuel Lutton held firm for another clean sheet.
The final group match saw the boys play a strong St. Oliver Plunkett team in a tight and even match. Lurgan thought they had taken the lead when they had the ball in the net only for the referee to claim the ball had went out of play in the build up. They again went close when a Cody Greszta free kick sailed marginally over the bar. The match looked destined to end in a draw securing a place in the Cup Competition for Town until added time when the St. Oliver Plunkett striker got on the end of a long ball to net a winner and put the Lurgan side into the Plate Competition.
In the semi-final the opposition was Soccer Indoors in what was the boys best performance of the day. They were on top right from the start and soon took the lead when Cody Greszta netted after a fine passing move involving Eli Hawthorne, Jamie Cunningham and Lucas Moore. A second goal came when Jamie Cunningham played another super through ball to Lucas Moore and his cross was turned into the net by a Soccer Indoors player. The best goal of the day soon followed when Josiah Hawthorne picked up a clearance and lofted the ball over the keepers head from just inside his own half. Cody Greszta rounded off the scoring when Lucas Moore teed him up from an indirect free-kick inside the opposition box.
The final was against Rosario in a repeat of one of the earlier group matches. Lurgan started very brightly and created several chances with the Rosario keeper making some great saves to deny them. There was little goalmouth action for the rest of the match and just when it looked destined for penalties Rosario got a corner which was unfortunately deflected into the net to give them the Plate.
The coaching group were very proud of the boys today and each and every one of the players can hold their head high for the effort they gave.
Squad: James Handley, Noah Hutchinson, Samuel Lutton, Jamie Cunningham, Daniel Dawson, Cody Greszta (C), Eli Hawthorne, Alfie Meneely, Lucas Moore, Josiah Hawthorne.