Four finals for Rathfriland Youth in a busy weekend

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On Saturday morning, all roads lead to Gordon Playing Fields in Lurgan as Rathfriland FC Youth travel with four teams set to play in the Mid Ulster Youth League Shield finals.

As if four finals were not enough, the U16 team are set to make it five finals for the club the following Saturday when they take on Dungannon Youth in the U16 League Cup Final.

Chairman Lindsay Bronte said: “This a fantastic achievement for the club and I want to personally thank all the hardworking coaches, committee, volunteers, players and parents for making it such a successful season on the pitch.

“Our main focus at the club is the development of our players but it is nice to have the opportunity to pick-up a little silverware on the way.”

Next Saturday’s action is as follows:

9.45am - U11 v Dungannon Youth

The action kicks off with Alastair McConville’s U11s facing Dungannon Youth having reached the final after seeing off Armagh City in the quarter final and local rivals Dromara in the semi-final.

This will be an emotional match for all concerned as they will be without their team-mate Stephen McElroy, who tragically passed away on semi-final weekend.

10am – U13 v Moira

Stephen Morgan and Stephen Brannigan’s U13 team take on Moira who are two places above them in the Mid Ulster Youth League league.

The U13s made it to the final having seen off Craigavon City 2 – 0 in the quarter finals and Portadown Youth 7 – 1 in the semi-final.

This was possibly their best performance of the season and if they can recreate it on Saturday could go close.

This team is in their first season together and have performed really well sitting fifth in a really competitive league, only nine points from top spot with a game in hand.

10.15am – U16 V Banbridge Town Juniors

The U16s have a local derby against Banbridge Town Juniors which is sure to be hotly contested as many of the players know each other and have had some interesting games earlier in the season claiming one win a piece.

As manager Conor Fitzpatrick is not available for this one, David Gilmore and Gary Young will take charge of the team on the day.

11am – U14 V Enniskillen Rangers

Having got to the final the hard way by coming from 3 – 1 down in their semi-final against Banbridge Rangers to win 4 - 3, Craig Baxter and Alan Wilson’s U14 team kick off against Enniskillen Rangers hopeful that they will be able to retain the trophy they won last year.

This will be a great morning for the club and every team will be out to do their best to bring home a trophy.

Lindsay Bronte said: “It would be great to have as much support as possible for the teams at the venue. There will be some difficult decisions to make regarding which games to watch but that is not a bad problem to have and I certainly won’t be complaining about it.”

The teams plan to return to the club for lunch at 1.15pm with all welcome to stay on and watch the Reserves take on Dollingstown in their final league game.

Lindsay concluded: “It has been a difficult and emotional past three or four weeks for the club with the passing of young Stephen McElroy and we want to put it on record that, win or lose, we are all extremely proud of all our boys and are amazed at how they have pulled together in difficult times. Every one of them will be playing in the memory of Stephen.”