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NISFA News (24)

St Columb's Win Alan McKinstry Cup

The Alan McKinstry Cup was held in Belfast on the 22nd -24th May.  The British Isles competition included teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and hosts Northern Ireland. One of the two NI teams Aquinas Grammar had a good 2-1 win over Welsh side Bishopston and Boclair claimed a 3-2 win over Henry Cort to top the table after day 1 of the Allen McKinstry.  St Columb's and Patrician battled a cagey 0-0 draw which the Derry lads won the bonus point with a 4-2 penalty win. 

In the second round of games a fine win by Aquinas Grammar School over Boclair and a 3-1 victory by St Columb's over Henry Cort secured both final places for the two teams from Northern Ireland.

St Columb's emerged as clear victors in the Allen McKinstry final this morning at the Billy Neill Soccer Centre.  They defeated a game Aquinas Grammar team 3-1 in the all Northern Ireland final.  Elsewhere, Boclair beat Bishopston 5-4 and Henry Cort fought back from a 7 minute three goal deficit to level right at the final whistle. 

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

St Malachy's celebrate U18 Success

Padraig Slane inspired St Malachy’s College to a 3-1 win over 10-man De La Salle in today’s Danske Bank NISFA Schools' Cup final in Belfast.

Slane weighed in with a goal and an assist as his team scored twice in extra-time to get their hands on the trophy at Seaview.

Paul Scullion put St Malachy’s in front on 36 minutes, guiding home Slane’s cross to find the net.  De La Salle’s response came courtesy of Conal McDonald who fired home to level matters on the stroke of half-time.

With St Malachy’s strengthening their grip on the showpiece during the second session, De La Salle were left with an uphill task when Ronan Hamill was sent for an early bath following a straight red card for a foul on Mark Donnelly. 

The 10 men of De La Salle galvanised to create chances through Donal McCullough late in regulation time and skipper Calvin McCurry went close with a header in the first period of extra-time. 

But St Malachy’s stepped it up a gear and put the game to bed in the second period of extra-time when Slane capitalised on a defensive error to edge his side in front before Scullion put the icing on the cake to make it 3-1 with his second of the afternoon.   

Earlier this morning Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock won the Belfast Schools’ Cup defeating Belfast Boys’ Model 5-4 on penalties after the scores were level at 1-1. 

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

Belfast District Host Rainbow Communication Finals

The Belfsat District Schools Football Association hosted their 5 aside tournament at Shankill Leisure Centre this month. There were 37 teams in the four heats with Nettlefield, Victoria Park, St Clare's, St Matthews, Holy Cross and St Therese of Lisieux all competing in the finals. St Therese of Lisieux the overall winners with Holy Cross second. #Letthemplay


  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by 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 

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

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.

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

Belfast Primary 5 aside competition

Belfast Primary Schools’ Football Association is indebted to Rainbow Communications for their continued sponsorship of the annual Indoor 5-a-side competition.  Rainbow Communications has been instrumental in the success of the competition having sponsored the event for a number of years and we thank them for the continued support.  

The competition is by far the most popular event in our calendar with 37 schools entering in 2018.  Congratulations to Holy Child in winning the shield, the finals of which were held on Wednesday 21st February at the Shankill Leisure Centre.  

Mervyn Bryson (Chairperson)

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

Girls bank on 11 aside competiton

The Northern Ireland Schools Football Association has teamed up with Danske Bank to provide a girls 11 aside competition this year. 

This year the girls 11 a side competition was held in 5 regions across Northern Ireland.  There were 27 teams involved in the competitions with over 416 girls participating in the regional heats with the winners advancing to the girls 11aside finals in January. 

In the first of the regional heats at Ulster University Coleraine, Lisneal College and St Mary’s College excelled with St Mary’s eventually running out group winners.

Last year’s winners St Louise’s College Belfast booked their place in the finals winning in a very tight match against St Genevieve’s, Belfast in the Belfast/ Antrim heat.  In the Tyrone and Fermanagh heat Holy Cross showed their strength and numbers with their A team having to play their B team in the final. Holy Cross College will be representing Tyrone and Fermanagh at the finals.

In the Down heat in Londonderry park St Joseph’s proved too strong winning their section and not dropping a point against the likes of Glenlola College and Strangford High School. Clounagh Junior High will be representing the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are in the finals of the school girls 11 aside competitions which will be played at Allen Park on the 17th January 2018.

The competition aims to give school girls more opportunities at playing 11 aside football, growing and learning the laws of the game. This is the first year Northern Ireland Schools Football Association has collaborated with the competition with the hope that the competition can  go from strength to strength in the coming years. 

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

Laurelhill achieve gold schools quality mark

Laurelhill achieve Gold Quality Mark

Laurelhill Community College have become the third post primary school in Northern Ireland to be awarded the IFA Gold School Quality Mark.  The School Quality Mark is a vital aspect of the IFA’s Let them Play Strategy, it strives to improve structures in primary and post primary schools to allow schools football to flourish.  The quality mark was first launched in Laurelhill Community College in January 2016 with more than 20 schools achieving one of the three levels of accreditation.

Laurelhill teacher Mark Watson is delighted the school has been recognised for their continued development of football in the school “This is the highest achievement that a school can gain, Laurelhill always strives for excellence not just in the classroom but on the sporting field. We offer both A and B teams from Year 8-14 which compete in the Lisburn League, Belfast and Northern Ireland Cup competitions, we also offer girls football from u12 – u18 with 1 team in each year group.  We have extensive facilities with our gravel pitch to be converted to a full size 3G and a 9 a side 3G next summer.  The school has based its approach on participation however has had success in schools competitions over the years including winning the NISFA U16 Cup and the IFA U15 futsal cup.”


  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman

Northern Ireland to Host 2017 Victory Shield Tournament

This year’s Victory Shield tournament will be staged in Northern Ireland – and organised by the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association.

NISFA said it is delighted to be hosting the Under-16 Schoolboys international competition, which is run by the Schools’ Association Football International Board.

The 72nd Victory Shield will be staged from 22 October to 27 October, with all games being played at Crusaders FC’s Seaview Stadium in Belfast and at the Bangor Fuels Arena, home of Ards FC and Bangor FC.

Northern Ireland have only won the shield once – in 2000-01 – since the current version was set up in 1947. England have not entered for the past couple of years, so Northern Ireland’s U16s will be facing Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in next month’s tournament.

The Victory Shield was presented to SAFIB in 1947 to mark, as suggested by its title, victory by the Allies in World War II - and has been played for continuously since then. In the past the Under-16s version of the home international championship has showcased several up and coming stars. Current Northern Ireland internationals Steven Davis, Jonny Evans and Aaron Hughes all played in the competition as well as the likes of Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

NISFA chairman Paul Kerr said: “Three years ago the competition changed its format from playing games over the season to a week-long tournament hosted by one of the participating countries and this year, for the first time, it’s Northern Ireland’s turn to host it.

“I would like to thank the Local Organising Committee who have freely volunteered their time and expertise to ensure the tournament will be a success.

“I would encourage everyone to come to the games and give our world-renowned support to our up and coming stars.”

SAFIB Victory Shield 2017 Match Schedule

Monday 23 October 1pm

Scotland v Wales

Seaview Stadium

Monday 23 October 3pm

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Wednesday 25 October 11am

Wales v Republic of Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Wednesday 25 October 1pm

Northern Ireland v Scotland

Seaview Stadium

Friday 27 October 1pm

Republic of Ireland v Scotland

Bangor Fuels Arena

Friday 27 October 5pm

Wales v Northern Ireland

Bangor Fuels Arena 

  • Published in NISFA News
  • Written by Ross Redman
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