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Ross Redman

Belfast Primary Girls tournament

"Belfast Primary Schools Football Association held their second "girls only" event at the Ozone, Ormeau Park.

It took the form of a 7-a-side festival day and St. Matthew's came top with Orangefield taking second place.

A successful 5-a-side competition was held at Shankill Leisure Centre earlier in the year with St. Matthew's also topping that event."

Elizabeth Bryson 

Belfast Primary Schools Football Association 

Schools Finals Day

St Columb’s College were arguably the big winners on the NISFA Schools’ Cup Finals Day with wins in the Under-13 and Under-16 cup competitions.

During an action-packed day at the Ballymena Showgrounds complex yesterday the Derry-Londonderry school defeated Belfast school Aquinas 4-0 in the Invitational U13 Cup. Two goals from Oran Kelly either side of a Jack McFeely strike put them in the driving seat. And Paul Keogh completed the scoring in added time. 

The St Columb’s U16 team also triumphed in style, easing past Belfast school De La Salle 3-0 in the NISFA U16 Cup decider, which was the showpiece final of the day. 

After a goalless first half the game sparked into life when Ben Wilson was upended inside the box. He picked himself up and slotted the penalty into the bottom corner. 

They were two up with six minutes remaining when Kai Hegarty scored with a long range shot. The victory was complete when Ryan McCaul hit the net in added time.

Meanwhile, the U12 Cup was won on penalties after Lurgan Junior High and St Malachy’s College (Belfast) were locked at one apiece after extra time. Lurgan Junior High goalkeeper Frazer Cunningham scored the decisive spot kick to take the trophy back to Co Armagh.

In the U12 Plate Larne High defeated Abbey Community College (Newtownabbey) 2-1, while St Patrick’s Academy (Lisburn) were the winners of both Small Schools competitions, defeating Rathfriland High School 2-1 in the Small Schools U13 Cup decider and near neighbours Lisnagarvey High School 2-1 after extra time in the U15 Small Schools Cup final.

In the final game of the day Saint Pius X College (Magherafelt) defeated Banbridge Academy 3-0 in the U16 Plate decider. 

 

{gallery}Schools Cup Final 2018{/gallery}

U18 top centenary shield with England win

The Northern Ireland U18 team finished their centenary shield campaign with a convincing win over England at Queens Dub.  The team up to this game was unbeaten drawing all three of their games against Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland got off to a great start when Adam Carroll scored with a looping header into the top corner after 10 minutes. England tried to respond straight from kick off and had a great opportunity when they were awarded a penalty 2 minutes later.

The Northern Ireland goalkeeper Declan Dunne was to be the hero diving low to his right to make a fantastic save. Northern Ireland doubled their lead shortly after when Andrew Scotts corner evaded everyone to nestle into the corner of the goal to make it 2-0.  Adam Carroll was to threaten again when his low strike beat the English keeper but was superbly cleared off the line. Northern Ireland made it 3 late into the half when Jack O’Mahony picked up the ball in the England half beat two players and slotted the ball past the keeper.

There were many changes for both teams in the second half that halted the flow of the game.  Jack O’Mahony thought that he had doubled his tally for the day when he flicked an Andrew Scott corner onto the top of the crossbar. England pulled a goal back in the second period however Northern Ireland comfortably ran out winners in the game and placed themselves on top of the table at this stage.

Full Time: Northern Ireland 3-1 England

Northern Ireland U18 Team: Declan Dunne, Caolin Coyle, Aaron Donnelly, Ruari O'Hare, Donal Rocks, Adam Carroll, Patrick Burns, Jack Henderson, Jack O'Mahony, Andrew Scott, Pablo Andrade

Danske Bank Schools Cup Final

Seaview will play host to the Danske Bank NISFA U18s final on Monday as St Columb's College and St Patrick's Grammar School Downpatrick battle to lift the trophy.

St Columb's College were losing finalists last year and will be aiming to go one better as they come up against St Patrick's Grammar School who are in their first football final since 2001.

The captain of the Derry-Londonderry college is Institute player Nathan Harkin, who will be playing his last game for the school. However, he plans to leave on a high. He said: "It would mean everything. It'll be the last game for the school as I'll be moving on next year.

"I won it in fifth year and it was incredible. Losing in the final last year was hard to take so there is a big emphasis on this year."

The captain of St Patrick's Grammar School Downpatrick, Fintan Canavan, would love to get his hands on the trophy on Monday. He said: "I think it would be one of the greatest achievements of my football career and life. To play with the lads that I have grown up with the last seven years, there would be no better feeling and I hope we can do it.

"Hopefully we can become local heroes at school and in the town and surrounding area. That's the aim."

To find out more from the pair ahead of the final on Monday 19 March, which kicks off at 12pm, watch the video above.

Before the Danske Bank final Crusaders FC's Seaview stadium will be hosting the Belfast U16 Schools' Cup final between Edmund Rice College and De La Salle College (10am kick-off).

"It will be a fantastic occasion for all schools involved in our finals on Monday. I would like to thank the hard work of all teachers and pupils to getting to this stage in both our Belfast and Northern Ireland competitions and would like all players to enjoy the day and represent your schools with pride,” said Northern Ireland Schools' FA chairman Bob Nesbitt.

Entrance to the games will be £4 for adults and £2 for children.

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