RATHFRILAND’S U14 team entered the Annalong Rovers Festival of Football on Friday past and put in a fine team display to sweep to victory with relative ease.
The majority of the side play up an age group for the U15 Mid-Ulster league side and this stood them in good stead when playing against other lads of their own age.
Rathfriland progressed from the group without dropping a point thanks to a convincing win over Annalong Rovers B with centre back and captain Ryan Clysdale heading home from a corner to open the flood gates.
The lads continued where they left off in the next game against the hosts’ A team and produced a fluent attacking display that their opponents just couldn’t defend against. The movement and speed of passing was excellent with Shea Byrne McConville and Daniel Bailie causing havoc throughout with Jake Laffin controlling midfield and the organisation at the back by Weir and Clydesdale provided the foundation for each attack.
The final group game was a tougher encounter for the locals against a Banbridge Rangers side who controlled possession in the early stages. Rathfriland soon settled in and opened up a two goal lead only to concede their only goal of the tournament when a long ball caught the defenders square and with no offside rule the Banbridge striker calmly slotted home. The lads hung on to progress from the group stages unbeaten.
The final against the same opposition saw the team produce a more convincing display - perhaps the promise of a burger each, courtesy of management sealed it - and in the end they eased past the Rangers 5 – 0 to seal a convincing cup victory that the whole team thoroughly enjoyed.
Team: Moffett, Clydesdale, Weir, Laffin, Byrne, McConville, Bailie, Adams, Dickson.