Youth Cup Semi –final
Linfield 1 Coleraine 0
Defending holders Linfield progressed to the Youth Cup final in a turgid and hard fought game against Coleraine at windswept Seaview on Monday March 26.
Coleraine almost opened their account as early as the 3rd minute when a short back pass was intercepted and the Coleraine forward shot over the bar. Drama unfolded with only 10 minutes on the clock when a Coleraine player was dismissed for allegedly elbowing Ethan Wynne. This seemed to galvanise the North West boys as for long periods of the half, they took the game to Linfield with Scott Pengelly called into action on more than one occasion to repel the Coleraine attack. Linfield found it difficult to get any rhythm in their play and were restricted to shots from distance with the Bannsiders custodian more than equal to the task.
After a half time chat the Blues started the second half with more urgency and tempo in their game. Chances were few and far between but any being created were coming from Linfield and soon Caomhan McGuinness headed just over from an inviting Callum McVeigh corner on 58 minutes. Five minutes later, Jake Corbett, who had a fine game then whizzed a great effort past the upright. Coleraine were dangerous on the counter attack but found school boy international Ruairi O’Hare and McGuiness in fine form and able to repel any subsequent danger. With the game looking as though it would go to extra time, Linfield struck a blow to the very heart of Coleraine’s hopes. As Linfield pressed, influential subs Jack Scott and Lewis Quinn combined with the latter delivering a pinpoint cross for Adam Carroll to gleefully hammer home from 8 yards with four minutes left on the clock.
Thankfully, this was enough to take Linfield into the final after what was a scrappy game.
Ben Wylie was selected as the sponsors’ Man of the Match
Linfield will now play Cliftonville in the final at a date and venue to be decided
Team : Pengelly, McComb, Gemmill McGuiness, O’Hare, Wynne, Corbett Weatherup (capt) Carroll, Wylie and McVeigh Subs : Gilmour, Bell, Quinn, Scott and Hume
Linfield Rangers coach
The following photos are reproduced with the kind permission of Gary Hancock