Manchester United produced a late, late show to deny County Tyrone an historic night in the Premier Section final at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday night.
Tyrone were just seconds from taking the decider to a penalty shoot-out only for striker Oliver McBurney to pop up with a stoppage time winner – his fifth goal of the week.
Tyrone had put up a brave resistance in front of a vociferous support and grew in confidence as the game wore on.
A bumper crowd of more than 3,600 – a record for the tournament – watched finals night in what was a memorable night with two county sides involved between the Junior and Premier finales.
The first half of this Premier Section was a quiet affair with chances at a premium.
United enjoyed more than their fair share of possession but they rarely stretched the boys of Tyrone who looked comfortable in keeping their discipline.
Skipper Andreas Pereria had the first chance of the game when he stung Patrick Molloy’s hands from outside the box in the sixth minute.
McBurney was then denied by Molloy’s smart save low to his right.
Less than a minute into the second half the Reds Devils survived a scared when the referee waved away Mark Megarry’s penalty claims after going down under Tyler Reid’s challenge inside the box.
Pereira then found some rare space on the edge of the box to get his shot away and only the base of Molloy’s right hand post denied the first goal of the contest.
McBurney tested Molloy with a fizzing shot that forced the keeper into a neat save.
He didn’t have much of a respite however as Demetri Mitchell tested him from the edge of the box and, yet again, he showed strong hands to clear the danger.
The winner came as the game ticked into overtime with a set-piece finally deciding the destination of the trophy.
Andreas Pereria swung over the corner from the righ that McBurney headed home off the underside of the crossbar.
Megarry was then claiming a penalty in injury time after colliding with the keeper, but the appeals were waved away.
United’s triumph was their first Milk Cup victory since 2009 and now means that they have now lifted the trophy five times.
And speaking to BBC Northern Ireland, Paul McGuinness was effusive in his praise for United who looked a class above throughout the tournament.
“It was great for them to get the victory and they’re following in some good footsteps,” he said.
“We played all amateur teams, rather than professional sides, so you have to be realistic as it’s hard to gauge how good they are but they’ve had a great time and mixed really well. Tyrone made it difficult and their goalkeeper was outstanding – he made three or four fantastic saves.
“In terms of Oliver McBurnie – I think what we will do is pay tribute to Bradford who loaned him to us. He enjoyed his week and will go back there a better player so it’s great for everybody.”
County Tyrone: Molloy, Deery, Edgar, Mallon, Young, Crawford, Lowe, Lavery, Megarry, McConnell (Porter), Duffy.
Manchester United: J Pereira, Reid, Thompson, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley (Rashford), Wilock, Croskery, McBurney, Mitchell, A Pereira
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Globe final Liverpool 2 Newcastle 0
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Milk Cup Final County Tyrone 0 Manchester United 1