THE Dundalk Schoolboys League Milk Cup squad continued their preparations in Crossgar, Co Down last weekend when they competed in a four team tournament which consisted of Tyrone, Down and Distillery.
First up for the boys was Tyrone. The game was played at an intense pace, tackling was hard but fair, with no time given on the ball. Dundalk found it hard to get into the match and found themselves on the back foot for most of the game.
Gradually they got with the pace of the game but unfortunately found themselves two goals down at this stage. The game ended 2-0 but valuable lessons were learned as to the level of pace and commitment that will be needed for the upcoming tournament in Coleraine.
Fifteen minutes later they were back on the pitch for their second game against Distillery. A much better performance saw the lads take a two goal lead but a lack of concentration and tiredness saw Dundalk leak three soft goals in the second period.
The 15 minute break between matches was taking its toll on the 16-man squad and the third match was a bridge too far. The game against Down saw the lads finish with only eight fit players, one of whom was their second goalkeeper Mark White who acquitted himself admirably in an outfield position.
The game ended with a four nil victory for Down. Tyrone were overall winners with victories against Dundalk 2-0, Down 3-1 and a 3-3 draw against Distillery.
Manager Tony Griffin was upbeat about the competition and stated that his squad now know the level they will have to raise their game to if they are to compete against opposition of this calibre.
With more friendly matches and increased training sessions planned, Dundalk will be well prepared come July 24. The three other teams involved in Crossgar had an average of 25 players to choose from and, as a result, were better equipped to cope with the demands of three matches in the space of four and a half hours.
Next up for Dundalk SL is a friendly match against Armagh next Saturday at 11.30am in Bellew Park. All support welcome. The Milk Cup Committee would like to remind everyone that they are holding a table quiz on Thursday June 23 at 8.30pm in Kennedy’s Bar. A fun night is guaranteed and all support needed.