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NISFA News (27)

Holy Cross win Belfast 5aside

The annual Rainbow Communications/BPSFA 5-a-side football competition was won on 12 February 2020 by Holy Cross PS with St. John the Baptist picking up the silver medals.  Shankill Leisure Centre hosted the competition which 36 schools entered and over 200 pupils competed during the three week long programme.  Mervyn Bryson (Chairperson of BPSFA) praised the continuing role Rainbow Communications has had on the many years sponsoring the event.  "Sponsorship is vital in organising such a prestigious and large competition and we are indebted to Rainbow for their extended partnership with us."    


Royal School Dungannon advance to 4th Round of Danske Bank Schools Cup

Royal School Dungannon advance to Danske Bank 4th Round

The Royal School Dungannon will play Aquinas in the 4th round of the Danske Bank Schools Cup after a convincing win against Belfast Metropolitan College.

The Dungannon school set a high tempo in the early stages of the match and were able to profit on a defensive error when Adam McConville slotted into an empty net. Belfast Met started to assert themselves in the game with good possession however it was RSD that struck again on the counter attack with Jonny McCammond curling his shot from the edge of the box into the top right corner.

In the second half Belfast Met made several changes as they looked to get back into the match which eventually paid off as they halved the deficit with a close range finish. This goal gave Belfast Met a new lease of life as they pushed for an equaliser in an extended period of added time and hit the woodwork before an excellent block from centre-half Calum MacGregor allowed RSD to break with Joshua Pinkerton securing their place in the 4th round with a left footed finish. 

NI draw opening Victory Shield game

The Northern Ireland Under 16 team began their defence of the Victory Shield with a 1-1 draw against Wales at Wrexham.

Gerard Lytle’s boys got off to a flying start as Conor Scannell carved open the home defence and sent over a perfect cross to Jamie Donley whose header went inches past the post.

On 13 minutes the visitors deservedly went in front when Donley was brought down inside the box. The striker got up to plant the spot kick into the corner of the net.

Oliver Lamb and Scannell were causing problems for the Welsh defence.  In a good move down the right Lamb and Scannell combined well to create an opening for Jacson Coppack but his shot was well held by the goalkeeper.

Two minutes before the break Donley went close to doubling the lead but his powerful header was brilliantly turned onto the bar by Welsh keeper Tyler Evans and the ball was scrambled away.

Wales drew level within two minutes of the restart when substitute Joel Cotterill sent a 20 yard free kick just inside the post giving Alex Henderson no chance..

On the hour Wales missed a great opportunity as a four man breakaway bore down on Henderson but centre back Michael Forbes got back to avert the danger.  Three minutes later Kian Jenkins went even closer but his shot from the edge of the box came off the upright with Henderson well beaten.

In the closing stages both sides pushed hard for the winner as play flowed from end to end.  Conor Falls tested Evans with a powerful drive and Shea Brennan shot straight at the keeper from 15 yards but the best chance fell to Welsh substitute Morgan Williams in the final minute when he broke clear but dragged his shot wide of the upright.

On Wednesday morning Northern Ireland will face Scotland who trounced the Republic of Ireland 4-0 to top the table.



Alex Henderson, Brodie Spencer,Matthew Carson,Michael Forbes,Josh Roney, Aidan Lillis,Conor Scannell, Harry Wilson (c), Jamie Donley,Jacson Coppack

Oliver Lamb



Conor Falls replaced Lamb 52 minutes

Ethan Sousa replaced Wilson 72 minutes

Ruairi McConville replaced Lillis 79 minutes

Shea Brennan replaced Donley 79 minutes

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. 

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. 

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


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 

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.

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)

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