From Castlebar - County Mayo -
Final Day Mayo International Cup 2014
By Nigel Naughton
26, Aug 2014 - 09:43
Mayo International Cup - Millwall FC are the 2014 Mayo International Cup Champions.
They defeated reigning champions the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in Sunday's final, before a large crowd at Milebush Park.
In a very well matched final, played on a superb surface, Millwall scored twice in the second half to seal the victory.
The opening 30 minutes was a tense affair, Evan Pierce and Michael Cregan both had decent efforts for the Irish, however they were thwarted by the impressive Millwall back four, marshalled by Ryan Green and skipper James White.
Millwall FC U16 are the 2014 Mayo International Cup Champions.
Noel Leighton was always a threat for the Londoners, and he set up the first goal of the game eight minutes into the second half. His flick on from a long clearance created an opening for Matt Day, with the latter being coolness personified, rounding Jonathan McKenna and finishing to the empty net.
Ireland did create chances against a stubborn Millwall back four, Sean McBride headed against the bar in the dying minutes, before Noel Leighton doubled his sides lead on the break with virtually the last kick of the game, again rounding McKenna and finishing after being put through by Mason Saunders.
In the day's second game, Northern Ireland sealed third place, with a 4-1 victory over Chesterfield, who came fourth. David Parkhouse put Northern Ireland in the lead after 20 minutes, before the elusive Danny Williams restored parity two minutes later, with a fine curled effort for Chesterfield.
Aaron Devlin made it 2-1 just before half time, before David Parkhouse bagged his second, and third of the tournament, with a clinical finish from the edge of the area. Joseph McMullan sealed the victory and third place for Northern Ireland, rifling home from all of 25 yards.
The hosts, FAI Castlebar came fifth, defeating sixth place Glentoran on penalties in the opening game of the day. An own goal had Glentoran in the lead, but with five minutes remaining, Mervue United hotshot Aaron Connolly made it 1-1, heading home after a superb cross from Sligo native Michael McGarry. The hosts were victorious on penalties 4-2, Aaron Connolly, Michael McGarry, Gary Higgins and Jack Hever were all successful from the spot, whilst Lorcan Callaghan made a very impressive save from Glentoran's fourth penalty.
The Republic of Ireland had qualified for the final without conceding a goal. They won both their group games, 1-0 against Chesterfield and 2-0 against Glentoran, before thumping Northern Ireland 7-0 in the semi-final, with Aidan Kenna scoring a hat trick.
Millwall also topped their group, defeating Northern Ireland 3-1 in the tournaments opening game, along with drawing 1-1 with FAI Castlebar. They then defeated Chesterfield 1-0 in the semi final, Mason Saunders with the goal.
Saunders was named player of the tournament, Millwall's midfield dynamo impressed spectators, opposition, players and organisers throughout with his all action, box to box displays. Northern Ireland's David Parkhouse and Republic of Ireland's Aidan Kenna topped the scoring charts, with three goals each.
In a tournament which ran exceptionally smoothly and impressively throughout, great credit must go to the tournament committee of Gerry Gallagher, Paul Byrne, Pat Quigley and Tom Jennings, for their work in ensuring this tournament ran off successfully. The standard of football on play throughout the weekend was a joy to behold, along with the standard of facilities and organisation.
The tournament committee would also like to thank all who helped and sponsored the tournament, especially the Mayo Mental Health Association, McDonald's Restaurant Castlebar, Castlebar Credit Union, Allied Irish Bank, Breaffy House Resort, Mayo Football League and the Mayo League Community Stadium Club.
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