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The Balloan Blog: Live from the Manchester Super Cup - Day 1

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Balloan FC of Inverness are in Manchester to compete in the English Super Cup, for the second year running. The English Super Cup has attracted teams from all around the world including teams from USA, Algeria and Uganda, and YFS is following their journey every day.
Balloan have entered two sides this year, at Under 14 and Under 15 level. Balloan are the champions of the Inverness Street League across several age groups ranging from the Under 13s to the Under 17s.
Balloan started their trek on July 26 (yesterday), at 6.30am for the long drive down to Manchester. Thanks to several fundraisers including bag packing, bingo nights and sponsored runs they managed to afford to run the trip and cover costs of all meals. The first meal was a cooked breakfast in Perth which went down a treat. The players then picked a sandwich from Tesco for lunch which was had further down the road. Balloan arrived in Manchester around 3.30pm and headed straight for Old Trafford for a guided tour around the Theatre of Dreams. Following the tour, the squad travelled another few miles to the hotel for a chilled night before the beginning of games on Thursday.
Both sides had tough starts to the competition but can be proud of the performance on show. The Under 14s got their campaign underway against Oldham Athletic Academy but were on the wrong end of a 6-0 defeat. However, Balloan played very well and were fearless against a team who play at a very high standard compared to Balloan. Balloan then faced off against Miami based Weston FC. A scrappy first half saw the Invernesians go into half time 1-0 down but a strong second half performance was just lacking the cutting edge as Weston doubled their tally. However, Balloan got their reward. Alex Morrison played in Ryan Munro who picked out Scott Murray who powered a header past the Weston keeper. Unfortunately, it was too little too late as Weston ran out winners in the end.
The Under 15s kicked off against Broughton Junior Community. Lewis Strachan got Balloan's first as he fired home after scrappy play in the box. Liam Rowan added number two, or so he claims, after Gavin Urquhart picked him out in the box. A close game saw the Broughton run out 3-2 winners.  Balloan then went on to play Personal Best Academy where they were defeated 4-0 but again played very well at times.
Once the games were the finished the boys headed to the hotel to get ready for an evening shopping at the Trafford Centre before getting ready for another day of games tomorrow where there is still plenty to play for.

Sean Selkirk | YFS North Region Journalist
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