SUPERCUPNI: County teams impress on opening day of Premier Section

Co Antrim's Liam McKenna celebrates scoring against Club America
Co Antrim's Liam McKenna celebrates scoring against Club America

There were wins for Antrim, Armagh and Down on the opening day of the Premier Section of the SuperCupNI.

With Tyrone and Londonderry claiming respectable draws, Monday was a superb day for the local teams at the international youth tournament.

Armagh stole the show at Clough, hammering Columbian side Alset 8-0, with Lurcan Forde hitting a hat-trick. Craig Taylor, Ryan Leeman, Eoin Toal and Pablo Andrade also found the net in a comprehensive victory.

County Down also claimed an impressive win, beating African side Lusaka 4-1 at Rugby Avenue. Last year, Lusaka hit the headlines when they missed their opening game after incurring serious Visas issues.

The boys from Zambia did manage to make it to Coleraine in time this year, although they encountered further Visas issues forcing them to miss Sunday’s opening ceremony.

Holders Antrim also started their defence of the Premier section with a win. Andy Hunter’s men beat Mexican side Club America 1-0 in a repeat of last season final.

County Tyrone recorded a respectable 2-2 draw against 2014 finalists Vendee at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.

Two years ago, the French side were defeated by Marcus Rashford inspired Manchester United in the decider.

Londonderry also claimed a hard-earned point against foreign opposition. They drew 0-0 with Belguim side Mechelen in Limavady.

The County teams ran out of luck at the Ballymena Showgrounds, with Fermanagh losing 2-1 to Newcastle United.

Two of the top county sides go head to head today, as Down face Armagh at Coleraine Showgrounds, with kick-off set for 7.30pm. There is another county derby at the Ballymena Showgrounds with Londonderry meeting holders Antrim at 7pm. The third intercounty clash sees Tyrone play Fermanagh at Scroggy Road in Limavady, with kick-off set for 3.30pm.

Elsewhere on the opening day, there was a shock result at the Riada in Ballymoney when Ghanian side Right to Dream lost 2-0 to Chilean side O’Higgins.

Spanish side Real Sociedad may have failed to reach the final of the Under 21 tournament, but they are still in the hunt for the Premier trophy. They beat Ponte Preta 2-1 in Portstewart.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh side Hibs impressed in Portstewart, winning 3-0 against Brazilian side Osasco. In Parker Avenue, Japenses outfit Ichifuna beat MS Select 4-1.

Down in Castlerock, American side The Strikers defeated New Zealanders Otago 6-0.