Tuesday, 05 June 2012

The County Londonderry Premier Squad continued their Milk Cup preparation on Saturday in the Orchard Cup in Armagh. Fresh from a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland’s Under15 Victory shield team thanks to a Wayne Glenn goal the boys travelled to Armagh for the annual Orchard Cup.

The opening game saw the lads against the host County, Armagh. Throughout the game Derry dominated and forced the Armagh keeper into a few good saves. After 19 minutes Wayne Glenn's hard work up front forced a defensive error and Corey Hegarty supplied a cool finish to open the scoring. 10 minutes later and a penalty was harshly awarded against Armagh and Hegarty stepped up to double the lead. Despite personal changes the Londonderry lads still dominated and after 45 minutes Jake Taylor played a great ball to Aaron Mullan on the right and Aaron's accurate low centre was finished brilliantly by Hegarty for his hatrick. A lobbed shot deceived Finlay in Derry's goal as Armagh pulled one back. On the hour mark Mikhail Kennedy played in James McClay for James to finish brilliantly to wrap up the scoring and seal an impressive 4-1 victory for the boys.

Tyrone had lost 2-1 to Fermanagh in the other opening game and Fermanagh had been beaten by Armagh so Londonderry needed a draw against Tyrone in their final game to win the Orchard Cup. Despite Tyrone having the lion’s share of possession in the opening half due to playing 5 in midfield Derry took the lead after only ten minutes when Joel Bradley drilled in a corner and Aaron Mullan showed great desire to win the ball and power his header into the net. At the start of the second half Joel Bradley and Corey Hegarty worked a good short corner and after Hegarty's shot was blocked Nicky Hudson reacted quickest in the box to make it 2-0. Mikhail Kennedy had a great run and set up Jack Higgins to score a third Derry goal. Tyrone had a great chance to score late on when they worked a one on one. Striker verses Conor Brady in goal but Conor closed down quickly and saved brilliantly with his feet to keep a clean sheet.

An excellent work out for the lads and two well deserved victories as the team continues it's preparations for Milk Cup. Nicky Hudson, Mikhail Kennedy and Corey Hegarty were particularly impressive on the day.

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