Rathfriland U12s travelled to Kernan Playing Fields on Saturday for the Mid Ulster Festival Day tournament and they certainly impressed, reaching the semi-finals.
The first of five tough group games was against Portadown Youth and, despite being on top for most of the game, Peter Newell and Peter Haughey both had chances flash narrowly wide of goal as the game ebbed to a finish at 0–0.
Next up was Lurgan Town and two goals from the classy Cormac McElroy made it four points from six for Rathfriland after the first two matches.
In the third match against Craigavon City, Rathfriland flew out of the blocks and raced into a two goal lead through the in-form McElroy and Haughey.
With the Reds totally dominant, it was almost three when a run and cross from the left by Peter Newell was turned narrowly wide by Haughey.
Within a minute, Craigavon broke up the field and scored a goal of their own and, in an unbelievable turnaround, it was 2–2 seconds later.
However, Cormac McElroy saved the day with his blistering pace getting him onto a Tumilty through ball to bag all three points.
The last two games saw the lads secure a semi-final place with avery credible 0-0 draw with eventual winners Moira and slip to a 2-1 defeat against Dromore, their first defeat in eleven games since February.
The semi-final turned out to be a step too far for the brave Rathfriland players and the more experienced and very impressive Dromore came out comfortable 4–0 winners.
This was, however, a very creditable display from the recently formed team who can be very proud of their efforts.
RATHFRILAND U12S TEAM: Conor O’Hare, Thomas McKay, Niall Husarz, Jack Baird, Peter Newell, Peter McEvoy, Brendan Tumilty, Peter Newell, Jake Morgan, Cormac McElroy