Derry City lose out to Czech Republic in Ryan McBride Soccer Sixes
DERRY CITY relinquished their title to Czech Republic who clinched the 2019 Ryan McBride Soccer Sixes trophy at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Sunday.
The Czech's secured an impressive 2-1 win over the Candy Stripes' legends team which was managed by Republic of Ireland U21 boss, Stephen Kenny.
Radek Sirl, a Europa League winner who made 130 appearances for Zenit St Petersburg and played alongside, Brazilian striker, Hulk and ex-Arsenal midfielder, Andrei Arshavin, netted the first goal for the Czech Masters.
Former Derry City skipper, Barry Molloy then equalised after a superb move involving Stephen O'Flynn and Gareth McGlynn. McGlynn and Molloy had both struck the woodwork, however, David Zoubek, once of Dinamo Minsk, fired in the winner with a powerful strike which gave Dermot O'Neill no chance.
Derry had beaten the Czechs in the opening game of the tournament through O'Flynn's strike. However, they cruised into the final with a 2-0 win over Celtic and a 5-2 win in a feisty clash with the PFAI Select.
The reigning champions, Derry City had earned their place in the final through wins over Czech Republic (1-0), a 2-2 draw with PFAI Select and an emphatic 6-3 demolition of Celtic.
It was a star studded line-up for the second Ryan McBride Soccer Sixes, played in memory of the late Derry City skipper, Ryan McBride who died suddenly in March 2017.
Almost 200 people turned out to watch a Celtic team, led by home favourite, the Derry Pele, boasting the services of Tom Boyd, Jackie McNamara, Alan Stubbs, Mark Wilson, Simon Donnelly, Mark Burchill and Rab Douglas. Stilliytan Petrov pulled out late after picking up a knee injury in a charity match in Dublin on Saturday.
It wasn't a great day for the Hoops however, who lost all three matches.
The attendance were treated to some fantastic action with League of Ireland legend, Joseph N'Do, Stephen O'Donnell and Declan 'Fabio' O'Brien all strutting their stuff for the PFAI Select.
The Derry City versus Celtic clash proved the most entertaining of the day with nine goals scored. McCourt netted twice and Burchill got in on the act, however, goals from Gary Beckett (2), Eddie McCallion, McGlynn. Higgins and O'Flynn saw the Candy Stripes run out facile winners.
In the programme, Ryan McBride's father, Lexie thanked all those involved for making it a day to remember.
"It gives us immense pride to know Ryan has made such an impact on so many people during his time here. His passion for Derry City and his drive to succeed served as a great catalyst for Ryan to propel himself from Junior football to the captain of Derry City in a short space of time."
The monies raised from the day will go towards the Ryan McBride Foundation and its many programmes.