There was penalty heartbreak for County Antrim as Everton sealed the Junior title with a thrilling 4-3 shoot-out victory.
Antrim enjoyed a large support on home turf at the Ballymena Showgrounds and they must have thought they had the game won in normal time. Brendy Glackin’s spot-kick with just 10 minutes remaining looked to have earned them the trophy, only for Everton to hit back just three minutes later.
In the end Everton won on penalties for the second time in as many days to clinch the trophy for the second time in three years. Everton came within the width of a post of taking the lead on 24 minutes.
County Antrim were denied what looked a certain goal by an outstanding point blank save from Yorke on 43 minutes.
Marty Olali headed back across goal with the ball falling to Mark McKee and his stabbed effort was brilliantly stopped by the young keeper. Four minutes later and Everton tested the woodwork for the second time when Broadhead rattled the crossbar with a half volley from 12 yards out. Ten minutes from time and the blue touch paper was lit for the contest. A strong surge into the box from Conor McKendrey was abruptly ended by Everton substitute Max Povey’s tug.
From the resultant penalty substitute Brendy Glackin coolly dispatched the ball to Yorke’s left for his fifth goal of the week. The lead lasted just three minutes. Nathan Holland’s drilled corner made its way all the way to the back post where Michael Taylor gleefully slammed home to send the game to penalties.
After three successful spot-kicks each Conor McKendrey blazed his effort over. It gave Ryan Caulfield the chance to win it for his side but Antrim stopper Simpson gave his side a lifeline with a fine save. That meant Joe Crowe had to score for the local boys to keep them in it but Matthew Yorke denied him with a save down to his right.