Underdogs Tristar U13 Boys in confident mood ahead of National League Cup Final against Glentoran

The Tristar U13 team and coaches who have made it into Saturday's National League Cup Final at Stangmore Park.The Tristar U13 team and coaches who have made it into Saturday's National League Cup Final at Stangmore Park.
The Tristar U13 team and coaches who have made it into Saturday's National League Cup Final at Stangmore Park.
TRISTAR Boys go into Saturday's Subway Under-13 National League Cup Final at Stangmore Park as underdogs against Glentoran but brimming with confidence after a fantastic league campaign. (Kick-off 2pm).

The Derry club will no doubt be strongly backed by a large travelling support heading to the home of Dungannon Swifts for a major day in the youth football calendar in the hope Tristar bring back some silverware.

Coaches Marty Robinson, Jamie Noonan and Dave Beasley have guided the talented youngsters to the brink of cup glory having navigated through a difficult path to the final.

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Tristar, who warmed up for Saturday's showpiece with a 2-1 win over Oxford on Tuesday night, are in a rich vein of form in the National League and will leave nothing on the pitch in their attempt to bring back the trophy. The club saw off Hillsborough Boys, Portstewart FC and most notably Cliftonville in a fiery contest in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals it was another difficult assignment against Warrenpoint Town. Fully aware of the standard of the opposition, Tristar sat deep during a cagey opening but as the half went on Tristar started to assert their dominance.

Against the run of play Warrenpoint Town took the lead as one of their midfielder’s struck it cleanly from the edge of the area and while Tristar goalkeeper Cayden McBride tipped it onto the underside of the crossbar, unfortunately, despite centre back Adam Green’s excellent last ditch attempt to clear the ball off the line, the ball ended up in the net.

Some slight adjustments at the interval and Tristar emerged a more potent, attacking threat. Pushing Darryl Meenan and Noah Noonan back into their preferred attacking positions, Tristar were on the front foot straight away in the second half.

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Waves of pressure really had the Warrenpoint defence digging deep to stay ahead. The first real opening came from a lovely lofted through ball from Joseph Doherty, with Noah Noonan catching it left footed on the half volley forcing the young Warrenpoint Town keeper into a great save low to his right.

Then it all turned around. After some neat football from the boys in red and white, the ball was picked up on the edge of the box by Darryl Meenan, and he ghosted past three defenders before unleashing a strike into the bottom right hand corner.

Tristar were back in it! And six minutes from time a second goal arrived as Rhys Robinson and Rylee McKeever linked up on the right. McKeever found Jay McCafferty and from a tight angle he expertly lobbed the goalkeeper, putting Tristar ahead for the first time in the game.

With something to hold onto the Tristar boys dug deep to see out the final minutes. Tristar’s battling mentality was optimised by captain Jack Beasley when defending a corner in the dying ember. He headed the first ball away before rushing to the edge of the box to block a strike from the Warrenpoint attacker.

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Tristar move onto Saturday's final against another top team in Glentoran. The East Belfast club's academy has produced some great players and teams over the years. And that’s exactly where these young Tristar players belong, rubbing shoulders with the best teams in the country.