After the last two supplementary cup wins for the U16’s which sends them into the semi-final, the lads opened their league campaign with a fantastic win against a very well organised Ards Rangers at a sunny Comber.
The lads played their normal free flowing game, but were exposed early on and had to call on stand-in keeper Peter Duncan (Eoin picked up two unfair yellows in last game) to make two excellent saves. This settled the lads, and they made a few chances of their own. The breakthrough came with about 10 minutes left of first half, Leo McGowan picked the ball up on the ring wing, who fed Caolan Cunningham who them embarked on one of his mazy runs and as the Ards keeper stepping off his line Caolan slipped the ball into the corner, 1:0 Colts.
Ards again started strong in the 2nd had, and were awarded a very soft free kick 25 yards from goal, the free kick was a decent effort and although Peter got a hand to it the ball ended up in the net, 1:1
From that point the lads started to stand their authority and quality in the game, Rory Reilly and Ryan Tweedy bossed the midfield and Tommy Connery was starting to find gaps in the Ards defence. Following a quick throw Michael Lawson played a perfectly weighted ball inside about 25 yards out, and an on coming Simon Turkington took one touch to get it out of his feet and unleashed a tremendous shot which flew into not the net, 2:1 to the Colts. The lads c bribed to press and started to defend stronger with Paul Doherty controlling the shape and making excellent runs. The third goal was another well worked move down the right hand side, a low cross came in to the box and Rory edged the ball to Caleb Keating who calmly let the ball roll across his body to then curl the ball into the far comer of the goal, 3:1 Colts. Ards didn’t give up, and with 1 minute left they hit a speculative effort which Peter lost in the sun and the ball ended up in the net, 3:2 Colts.
The final whistle came and although 3:2 flattered the opponents, the game was played in the right spirit from both teams, with some excellent movement, passing and goals.
Goal scorers: Caolan Cunningham, Simon Turkington, Caleb Keating
Man of The Match: Caolan Cunningham.
Squad: Peter Duncan, David Hilland, Paul Doherty, Jonny Wilson, Simon Turkington, Michael Lawson, Rory Reilly, Ryan Tweedy, Leo McGowan, Tommy Connery, Caolan Cunningham, Tom Webb-Jones, Caleb Keating.