MILK CUP: Gray goal sparks bright start for County Armagh

Darragh Gray.
Darragh Gray.

Portadown-born Darragh Gray scored County Armagh’s first goal of the 2015 Milk Cup as the Junior squad defeated Swindon Town by 3-1.

Gray arrived in the penalty area from deep to convert a cross by Portadown Youth’s Barney McKeown.

McKeown forced the Swindon goalkeeper into a smart save and Loughgall Youth’s Mark Lucas flashed a dangerous delivery across the face of goal before Gray broke the deadlock.

Swindon hit back, however, to level the scoreline at the break.

County Armagh took control across the second half and created a number of scoring opportunities before Daniel McKeown’s determination forced an error in the Swindon backline and Lucas took full advantage.

Another Portadown Youth player, 13-year-old Alberto Balde, joined play off the sidelines and capped his cameo by hitting the post plus providing a cross for John Lee McAfee to wrap up victory and a 3-1 scoreline.

McAfee was also left frustrated by the crossbar but the final whistle led to smiles across the Orchard County camp.

“It was a great start to the competition,” said Dean McCullough, the County Armagh Milk Cup Association chairman. “We were especially impressed with the work-rate of the boys and how they displayed real energy as a team.”

Other players from the area handed minutes were Ben Davison, Luke Wilson and Tom Weir.

COUNTY ARMAGH JUNIORS: Tyler Boyce, Sean Toman, John Lee McAfee, Daniel McKeown, Ben Davison, Cathal McGinty, Luke Wilson, Oisin Smyth, Darragh Gray, Mark Lucas, Barney McKeown. Subs (used): Alberto Balde, Tom Weir, Robbie McAteer.