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MILK CUP: County Antrim up for the test as they progress to semi-finals

County Antrim's Jack McCourt and Dylan Davidson try to stop Swindon's Mason Hathaway

County Antrim's Jack McCourt and Dylan Davidson try to stop Swindon's Mason Hathaway

  • by Keith Bailie
 

County Antrim qualified for the semi-finals of the Dale Farm Milk Cup Junior section for the second year in a row, thanks to a dramatic comeback win against Swindon Town.

Antrim will be joined in the last four by Plymouth Argyle, Corinthians and O’Higgins. Glasgow Rangers, Liverpool and Everton all crashed out.

Antrim came from 2-0 down to beat Swindon 3-2 and qualify for the semi-finals of the Milk Cup for the second season in a row.

The English side were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes, but a brace from Jack McCourt and a single effort from Christopher Crane gave Antrim a well deserved win.

A delighted Antrim manager Stefan Seaton said: “It’s incredible for us two reach the Junior semi-finals two years in a row with two different teams. I’m over the moon for the boys.

It shows that there are a lot of great players coming out of County Antrim and the IFA and the clubs deserve a lot of credit for that. We help the players, but ultimately it is the clubs who lend us the players and they are the ones that work with them every week.

“We were 2-0 down after ten minutes and their two goals game from individual errors. I keep telling the boys it’s their decision making and their ability not to make errors that will separate them from the pack.”

Glasgow giants Rangers crashed out when they lost 1-0 to Chilean side O’Higgins at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney. David Andreas Salazar Bustamante scored the winning goal for the South Americans.

Brazilian side Corinthians booked their place in the last four of the competition with a 3-0 win over Mexican side Chivas. The Sao Paulo side are emerging as favourites for the Junior trophy.

The Brazilians might have to be wary of English side Plymouth Argyle. The Football League club recorded their third victory of the week with a 6-2 win over Sydney United at the Riada.

Southampton will go down as the Milk Cup’s unlucky winners. The Saints won all three of their games, finishing with a 2-0 win over County Londonderry at Scroggy Road. Unfortunately for Southampton nine points wasn’t enough to secure their place in the semi-finals, as the four qualifiers all had better goal difference.

Liverpool might not have made it to the last four but they beat Pat McGibbon’s County Armagh 2-0 at the Coleraine Showgrounds. At Ballymena, Everton beat County Fermanagh 2-1.

County Down lost 4-2 to Brentford at Anderson Park. Joshua Bohui hit a hat-trick for the Bees.

American side Global Premier Soccer claimed their first point of the tournament with a 1-1 draw with Queen of the South.

Donegal Schools caused something of an upset at Castlerock. They beat Sheffield United by a single goal. Middlesbrough beat Tyrone 2-0 at Parker Avenue to finish their qualifying campaign with a win.

Chilean side Santa Marta de Liray lost their final qualifying game 3-0 to Motherwell at Broughshane. Santa Marta finished the league stage without a point.

Elsewhere Watford beat Dundalk Schools 2-1 at Roe Mill, while the Japanese Academy drew 1-1 with North Dublin School at The Warren in Portstewart.

 

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