Coleraine FC Academy U15’s took to Belfast on Saturday to play a friendly against the Northern Ireland Women’s International U19 team.
Despite some transport issues, they arrived just in time, at the very impressive, yet wet, QUB Dub Playing fields.
Not knowing what to expect, the lads got off to a steady enough start and pretty much controlled the first 20 minutes, creating opportunities, but not seriously testing the opposition keeper.
They didn’t allow the girls time to play any great football and the breakthrough came around the 25 minute mark when Coleraine got the ball on the ground and played a good series of passes, culminating in Rhys Blair’s first class through ball allowing Stoifan Tracey the opportunity to open up the scoring for Coleraine with his first goal since rejoining the team.
The girls got into the game much better in the second half, however Coleraine still managed to create chances and test the NI Women’s keeper.
Shortly after being denied a stone wall penalty from a foul on Stoifan, Coleraine increased their goal tally with a world class left footed shot from the edge of the penalty area by Peter Rankin. Further chances came and went, however the final score stood at 2-0 to Coleraine.
It was great to hear from the NI Women’s manager, Alfie Wylie, on how impressed he was with the setup and passing ability of the Coleraine team.
This, despite the fact, that the lads were not playing anywhere close to their full potential.
Meanwhile, Coleraine Under-12’s second outing in the Mid Ulster League ended with a comfortable victory in a one sided affair against Cookstown Colts. The deadlock was broken in the sixth minute when ‘Mr Reliable’ Charlie O’Neill opened the scoring and by the time Ben Moore added a second three minutes later the result never looked in doubt. Two goals in a minute by Scott McDonald and Charlie doubled the lead and another two went in before half time from Scott Simpson and Luke McElfatrick. Further goals were inevitable and Charlie soon completed his hat trick and added another couple for good measure to take his personal tally to five. Scott McDonald and Luke McElfatrick completed a brace a piece with Oisin Doherty scoring his first for the club.