THE CURTAIN comes down on another highly successful Foyle Cup tournament this weekend with teams vying for silverware in the competition’s Finals Day today and tomorrow.
This year’s tournament has attracted record attendances to the various venues throughout Derry City and surrounding areas in Counties Derry, Tyrone and Donegal and has once again exceeded expectations.
And there promises to be a significant crowd at Ardmore tonight as the Under-19 Cup Final is to be decided at 7 p.m. while the Under-10 and Under-11 showpieces will be also be contested tonight at St Columb’s Park 2 (K.O;. 5.30 p.m.) and the Vale Centre (K.O. 4.30 p.m) respectively.
Tomorrow then brings the conclusion of the Under-12 (K.O. 2.30 p.m), Under-14 (K.O. 1.15 p.m.)and Under-16 (K.O. 12 nooon) competitions with the highly anticipated finals staged at Brandywell Stadium.
The 2011 McDaid’s Football Special Foyle Cup got off to an excellent start as a carnival atmosphere descended on Derry on Tuesday as almost 3,000 young footballers paraded through the city centre at the formal launch of this year’s competition.
Led by the tournament referees, the procession was greeted by crowds of well wishers and supporters all the way to Guildhall Square where Mayor, Alderman Maurice Devenney, main sponsor, Edward McDaid of McDaid’s Football Special and tournament chairman, Michael Hutton all stressed to the young players the importance of fair play, enjoyment and wished all the young players good luck for the week ahead.
And when the action got underway in the afternoon, the Under-12 Linfield team announced their arrival with an emphatic 6-0 victory over Ballymoney United.
Armagh City performed heroically to hold past winners, Hearts, from Scotland to a 1-1 draw and elsewhere North Dublin Schools, strong contenders each year, had a comprehensive 7-0 victory over Irish Premiership side, Dungannon Swifts. Their Colts team also registered a win by the same margin.
Local hosts, Derry & District couldn’t repeat the feat of the local senior club the previous night, managing only a 3-3 draw against Ballinamallard.
Other winners included Limavady Utd, Inishowen Youth League, NW & Coleraine Youth League, Cavan Monaghan Yth Lge, Stranocum, Newhill and Carnbane Youth League.
At Under-14 defending champions, Celtic FC easily accounted for Irish league side, Coleraine FC and made a resounding statement of their intentions to retain the trophy.
Linfield, defeated finalists by Celtic two years ago had a 3-1 win over Armagh City.
Scottish clubs, Hearts FC and Aberdeen FC showed that Celtic will not have it all their own way with victories over NW & Coleraine Youth League and Newhill FC respectively.
FS Academy, reputedly a nursery club for Chelsea FC, defeated Mid Ulster Select 5-1 and both local Derry & District Youth Football Association teams recorded scoreless draws in their opening matches.
The second full day of competition at the Foyle Cup experienced possibly the competition’s largest ever attendance.
In the Under-12 competition Linfield continued their winning ways with emphatic victories over Co Antrim side, Stranocum and Institute FC. North Dublin Schools League Colts have also impressed with good wins over Ballybofey and Inishowen YL. Cavan Monaghan Yth Lge lost their quarter-final place as they went down 1 -0 to Derry & District YL.
At Under-14 Irish clubs will have it all to do to prevent the trophy returning to Scotland. Current champions, Celtic FC look formidable as they despatched FSA Academy 4-0. Hearts FC and Aberdeen FC showed their undoubted class once again with second victories over Downpatrick Yth League and Inishowen Yth. Irish League Premier ship team Linfield fell to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at the hands of Donegal Schoolboys, who recorded their second win of the competition. Belfast Outfit, St Oliver Plunkett’s continued in a winning vein with a resounding victory over Derry Colts.