Young Magpies beaten by Valencia in SuperCupNI final
Written by Dan King
Newcastle United's under-17s were narrowly beaten by Valencia's youngsters in the final of the SuperCupNI - previously the Milk Cup - in Northern Ireland on Friday evening.
The young Magpies had won all three group games before beating Co. Antrim at the semi-final stage, scoring 17 goals in the process and conceding only one.
And Neil Winskill's side took the lead in the final before their Spanish opponents came back to lift the trophy. But while United's talented teenagers had to settle for silver medals, they can be proud of their performance in a competition previously graced by the likes of Ryan Giggs, Harry Kane, Radamel Falcao, Michael Carrick, Mats Hummels, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford.
Newcastle - who won the tournament in 1989 - last reached the final in 2012, with a team including Freddie Woodman, Adam Campbell, Rolando Aarons, Lubo Satka, Adam Armstrong and Jamie Sterry, all of who went on to play for the Magpies at first team level. On that occasion, they lost 3-0 to Desportivo Brasil.
This year, United began with a 5-0 victory over County Londonderry on Monday, with goals from Dylan Stephenson, Josh Scott, Josh Gilchrist and a Josh Harrison brace.
The following day, Hull City were beaten 4-1 with Harrison, Joe White, Elliot Anderson and Stephenson on target, and the final group game, on Wednesday, ended in a 4-0 win over Canadian side FC Edmonton - the goals coming from White (2), Lucas De Bolle and Lewis Brannen.
Co. Antrim were the semi-final opponents on Thursday and United cruised into the final with a 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Stephenson, White and De Bolle.
In the final, played at Ballymena Showgrounds, Stephenson gave Newcastle the lead but Pedro Aleman equalised and Hugo Gonzalez scored what proved to be the winner.