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Release Date: 27/07/2012

The UEFA Regions Cup squad got their preparations off to a flying start last night in County Fermanagh.

Harry McConkey’s boy impressed with a 3-1 victory over newly promoted Premiership side Ballinamallard United.   With fantastic facilities and an almost perfect pitch at Ferney Park, these were optimum conditions for the squad to show their worth.

The Eastern Region went 1-0 up after only 57 seconds through Ryan Newberry who measured a delightful chip over Ballinamallard keeper Alvin Rouse.   Eastern Region goalkeeper Johnny Parr helped maintain the lead 20 minutes later with a superb penalty save.    The 1st half continued at a frantic pace, with Ballinamallard in particular creating opportunities only to lack the cutting edge in the final 3rd.

Half time Score line: Ballinamallard Utd 0-1 UEFA Regions Cup Squad

Harry’s men came out for the 2nd half and gradually took control of the game, and their efforts were rewarded by a goal from David Wright, with Ryan Newberry again scoring the 3rd to complete the victory.   Ballinamallard did manage a  conciliation goal 10 minutes from time through Stephen Sheridan, however the Regions Cup squad were worthy winners.

Manager Harry McConkey commented after the game “This was a very worthwhile exercise for the boys.   My objective was to look at the player’s match fitness, especially on Ferney Park’s great pitch surface.   It is paramount to get the players coming together in friendly games and training sessions before we head to Macedonia at the end of August.   I was very pleased with the overall performance and result.   If the player’s continue in up and coming friendly games in the same fashion, it will make my task of selecting a final 18 man squad for the trip to Macedonia very difficult indeed.   Ballinamallard United were exactly the kind of opposition needed for our preparations and I hope the players continue to prove themselves in our next games against Dungannon Swifts and the Republic of Ireland Regions Cup squad.”

The Northern Ireland UEFA Regions Cup Squad head out to Macedonia at the of August and have North Wales, Hestrafors (Sweden) and hosts South East FYROM to compete with in their quest to reach the Intermediary round.

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