Northern League 2

SAFA Select 2

(Northern League win 7-6 on penalties)

Played at McCarthy Park, Belfast

DOUNE CASTLE’S Kenny Feaks, Niall McClure and Sean Heaver major roles as the Scottish Amateur Select cruelly lost on penalties in the annual challenge match for the Jack Britton Rose Bowl. All the Castle lads were in the starting eleven and had outstanding games.

Kenny was a colossus in defence, Niall the driving force in midfield and Sean a constant threat to the home defence with his surging runs. Sean Heaver was delighted to receive the Bob Lamberton Quaich for his Man of the Match performance.

The Scots started strongly and took the lead with a close range finish after 12 minutes. Doune duo Sean Heaver and combined down the left to set up the second goal for the Scots on 67 minutes. The Northern League took full advantage of a soft free kick award to pull one back after 73 minutes. That goal rallied the home side and they snatched an equaliser with 7 minutes remaining to set up a penalty shootout.

Sean Heaver got the Scots off to the best of starts, sending the keeper the wrong way to net confidently. With the score at 7-6 after to the Northern League after 15 penalties, the Scots were unlucky to hit the bar with their last kick. The home side celebrated wildly with the Scots left frustrated they had lost after an outstanding display.

Despite the bitter disappointment of the defeat, Bruce McNaught and his backroom staff were delighted by the performance from such a relatively inexperienced side. The side leave for Lithuania on Thursday 19th May full of confidence and determined to build on such an encouraging display.

The Scots will face Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden in a demanding 3 games in 5 days schedule in this UEFA Regions Cup qualifying round. We wish all 8 of our local lads all the best on their European adventure.