County Armagh kicked off the Premier section with a single-goal reverse to Spain’s Real Sociedad.
A superb free-kick strike around the 10-minute mark proved decisive as the Orchard County boys battled to remain in contention against the slick tourists.
Nedas Maciulaitis of Portadown came close to a late equaliser but was unable to test the goalkeeper with his header.
“We were probably facing one of the favourites for the section so, from that viewpoint, we can be proud of the effort put in by the players,” said Dean McCullough, chairman of the County Armagh Milk Cup Association. “We defended well overall in a 3-5-2 formation that kept us competitive.
“The performance offers something on which we can build going into the rest of the week.
“If we can maintain that standard of commitment then I am confident we can get something from the other two scheduled games.”
The list of players selected included Portadown’s Brendan Litter, Mark Johnston, Scott Megaw, Adam Metcalfe and Maciulaitis. Conor Larkin is from the area, with Loughgall Youth’s Ross Wilson also handed minutes.
COUNTY ARMAGH PREMIER: Conor Larkin, Brendan Litter, Ross Wilson, Eoin Toal, Mark Johnston, Tiarnan Judge, Caolan Marron, Andrew Wilson, Scott Megaw, Adam Metcalfe, Kevin McAliden. Subs (used): Nedas Maciulaitis, Ryan Lewsley, Shea Geraghty.