There was a mouth-watering tie for the U19 Foyle Cup Final as two local sides went head to head in the Derry evening sunshine. A well drilled Derry City faced a Finn Harps side that had beaten Scottish giants Motherwell to reach the final. There was no doubt that it was always going to be a tight affair and that proved to be the case, both sets of players putting on an entertaining show for the hundreds gathered at Ardmore. It was the Candystripes that started on the front foot however and had the best of the first half overall. With just two minutes gone, Chris Flanagan nearly put his side ahead hitting a rasping volley from the edge of the eighteen just wide. Derry played some really fluid football in the first half and on ten minutes there was another chance. Stephen Mills this time getting on the end of a Patrick McClean cross but his header couldn’t find the target. The Derry boys definitely had more of the ball and it wasn’t until fifteen minutes that Finn Harps got their first sniff at goal. BJ Banda stretched for a header at the back post but it was easily gathered by Michael Lynch in the City net. The first period really belonged to the boys from the Brandywell though and they played some beautiful football, the sharp passing and moving seemed to be too much for the Harps to handle. All they were missing was that final touch and that came after twenty minutes in another well worked move. A corner that looked like it was straight off the training ground was executed to perfection as the ball was rolled to Flanagan on the edge of the box and the midfielder swept the ball into the opposite corner with the inside of his right foot.
With Harps being outplayed in the first half they really needed to go up a gear or two and they definitely did that when the teams came back out. The boys in blue had more of the ball and grew in confidence in the final third. It started to feel more and more like a cup final as City didn’t have the same time or space they had in the first period. Harps closed down well and won some free kicks in dangerous areas to put the pressure on. Tackles began to fly in as the intensity increased, Harps feeling that they needed to create more to get the equaliser. The best chance for them fell for Simon McGlynn but he was crowded out well by McClean and his shot was deflected wide from close range. Harps definitely put the pressure on the City boys as the final drew near an end, there were a few dodgy moments at the back and the tension was palpable amongst the supporters. Derry managed to hold on though to defeat their neighbours to claim the2015 Foyle Cup. Derry City also grabbed the Foyle Cup at U17 level as they defeated Kildrum 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
Report Brendan Hagan