Ellan Vannin finish Euros third

Conor Doyle

Conor Doyle

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Ellan Vannin claimed the bronze medal at the ConIFA European Football Cup in Hungary on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Bass Sr’s side required penalty kicks to beat recent island visitors Felvidek after the pair had drawn the six-team competition’s third-fourth place play-off 1-1.

Winger Chris Bass Jr gave the MIFA outfit an early lead with a well-taken team goal before Felvidek equalised halfway through the opening 45. Shay Sharkey hit the bar with a header, but the Manx couldn’t find a second goal and, with no extra-time, spot kicks were required to decide who would clinch third spot.

The islanders had ended up in the battle for bronze after losing Saturday’s semi-final against the Countea de Nissa 3-1.

The southern French had beaten Ellan Vannin in the final of last summer’s ConIFA World Football Cup in Sweden on penalties, but the margin of victory was a little more convincing this time around.

Nice bagged two late first-half goals to put them in charge of the tie.

As the Manx continued to misfire in front of goal, Nice added a decisive third goal to seal their place in the final against Ellan Vannin’s group opponents Padania.

St George’s Frank Jones pulled a goal back late on for the Manx, but it was to prove little more than a consolation.

In the final the northern Italians, that included Mario Balotelli’s brother Enoch in their squad, pulled off a shock as they beat pre-competition favourites Nice 4-1 to lift the inagural ConIFA European crown.

There was some Manx representation in that match. Local officials Chris Dycher and Scott Campion were the referee and assistant for the finale of the Debrecen-based competition.

Dycher dished out a red card to Nice in what turned out to be a heated encounter that ended with a 22-man melee at full time.

The Manx returned to the island on Monday evening after a gruelling schedule of four games in four days in hot and humid conditions.

Eight of the squad will travel to Jersey at the end of the week for the NatWest Island Games, Nick Hurt’s Isle of Man FA representative side beginning their campaign against the Western Isles on Sunday lunchtime.

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