CREGGAN’S Don Bosco’s F.C. have followed in the footsteps of long-standing clubs, Bluebell Celtic and Celtic Swifts, in sensationally withdrawing from the Derry & District Football Association after a 41 years membership.
Bosco’s failed to field in last Sunday’s McAlinden Cup tie and it’s understood that failure proved to be the straw which broke the camel’s back as far as the club’s management was concerned.
The withdrawal of Bosco’s was confirmed during last Monday night’s Derry & District F.A. meeting and the Association expressed its deep regret at the decision.
When contacted, a D.&D. spokesman issued the following statement:-
“The Derry & District F.A. regret to announce that Don Bosco’s Football Club will not be competing in next season’s competitions.
“One of the most famous teams in our Association, we are very sad to lose Don Bosco’s given that they joined the Association back in 1972 and remained a member for the past 41 years.
“The club has won every trophy within the Association and we wish to extend our thanks to the club’s manager, Liam Bonner, for the sterling work he has done over the years.
“Hopefully, in the not too distant future, Bosco’s will re-emerge as a formidable force and make what would be a welcome return to the Derry & District F.A.,” the statement concluded.
It’s believed Liam Bonner has not cut his ties with the club but will now concentrate on coaching and organising the club’s youth teams.
Meanwhile, only three matches are down for decision on Sunday and First Division champions, Derry City will be vying for a place in their first McAlinden Cup Final when they take on Trojans in the semi-finals at St Columb’s Park
And in the quarter-finals of the competition, Abercorn take on an in-form Campbell’s team.
Elsewhere, Top of the Hill Celtic take on Oxford United Stars in the semi-finals of the Poundsworth Top Four Trophy at Prehen.
Fixtures - Sunday, May 12th - McAlinden Cup quarter-finals; Abercorn v Campbell’s (Prehen 3); Semi-finals - Derry City v Trojans (St Columb’s 2); Poundsworth Top Four Cup semi-finals - Top of the Hill Celtic v Oxford Stars (Prehen 1); Games kick-off at 11.30 a.m. and must be played to a finish.
Top Four Cup semi-final - Thursday, May 16th - Trojans v Park Bar (Lisnagelvin 2). (Kick-off 6.30 p.m.).
Poundsworth Top Four Cup semi-final
Top of the Hill Celtic v Oxford United Stars
Celtic will be looking to add this new cup to their Terry Kelly Memorial Cup they won back in March.
In the last round the Waterside men were forced to field a lot of young players so whether or not the manager decides to stand by those players or bring back those with more experience remains to be seen.
Last weekend Paul Roddy’s Stars recorded a superb victory over Derry City and a similar display in this tie would see them going close to defeating Celtic for the second time this season. Oxford to win.
McAlinden Cup quarter-final
Abercorn v Campbell’s
In the last round of this Blue Riband Cup Abercorn produced a fine display to knock out a good Oxford Stars outfit. So the manager will be looking for a similar display in this cup tie.
So far in this competition newly promoted Campbell’s have taken the scalps of Premier Division sides, Top of the Hill Celtic and Tristar so Kevin McGinlay’s side, who are on a long unbeaten run, will not fear Abercorn.
A tight match looks in prospect but Campbell’s are given a tentative nod to win and set up a clash with Premier Division champions Park Bar in the semi-final.
Derry City v Trojans
First Division champions, Derry City were knocked out of the Top Four Cup last Sunday so Eddie Seydak and Paddy Slevin will be hoping for better fortune this week. Kevin McLaughlin, Josh Tracey and Ryan Harkin will be key players for City.
Trojans lost in the Terry Kelly Cup Final so Paul Higgins would like to make it through to this Blue Riband Final. They had a fine league campaign finishing in third spot after a poor campaign the previous year.
Trojans to win.
Poundsworth Cup quarter-final
Campbell’s 1, Trojans 3
Campbell’s began brightly and were unfortunate to see a Ryan Coyle shot hit the bar.
And they were made to pay as Kevin Ramsey gave Trojans the lead in the 32nd minute.
Campbell’s pushed forward in search of an equaliser at the star of the second half and it arrived in the 63rd minute through Colin Logue.
However eight minutes later Campbell’s were punished for a back-pass and Ramsey scored from the resultant free-kick.
And with four minutes remaining Brendan McDonald converted a penalty kick to seal the tie.