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Sunday 14 Jan 2024
Harry Cavan Youth Cup | Quarter-finals recap

The Harry Cavan Youth Cup is down to the last four following the weekend's quarter-final ties that produced victories for Larne, Maiden City, Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders.

The Crues clash with Ballymena United at Seaview on Saturday afternoon was the designated 'tie of the round', with the north Belfast side running out comfortable 4-1 winners thanks to goals from Rio Mullen and a Bradley Maguire hat-trick.

Mullen opened the scoring for Crusaders with just over half-an-hour on the clock before Maguire got his name on the scoresheet early in the second half.

The Sky Blues did reduce the deficit on 58 minutes, but Maguire struck again with a thunderbolt moments later to restore Crusaders' two-goal advantage before, with ten minutes remaining, he knocked home another superb effort to put the game to bed and stake his claim for the match ball.



Maiden City made it into the semi-finals for the second successive season courtesy of a penalty shoot-out defeat of Dergview after the sides finished two goals apiece at the Prehen Playing Fields.

Mackenzie Dickson reacted quickest to the loose ball to edge Dergview in front inside the opening ten minutes, before a second goal on 70 minutes looked to have sealed the game in favour of the visitors.

However Maiden City hit back when Ben Smith fired home from a corner with 12 minutes to go before, right at the end, Jake Montgomery found the top corner to level the game and force extra-time.

Both sides had their chances as the game progressed but it was always going to take spot-kicks to separate them, with Maiden City coming out on top 4-3 thanks to a couple of saves from keeper Sean O'Doherty and the winner from Matthew Colhoun.

Last season's losing finalists Cliftonville exited the competition, going down 3-1 away to Dungannon Swifts after extra-time.

Tommy Taggert fired the Swifts in front midway through the first half, but Kevin McGuinness levelled for the Reds after half-an-hour.

And that was how it stayed until two goals in extra-time from Alfie Dallas and Michael McElhatton saw the Swifts progress.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Larne produced a superb performance to defeat Annagh United 5-1 at Inver Park.

Jay Patterson kicked the scoring off on nine minutes before doubling Larne's advantage with ten minutes of the first half remaining.

Jack Hastings then added a third three minutes from the break, with Callum Cowan knocking home number four midway through the second half.

Damian Traczykowski did grab a consolation for Annagh six minutes from time only for Joel Given to add a fifth for Larne in the closing moments.

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