N. Ireland Schools’ Football Finals Day

St Columb's College  celebrate lifting the Malcolm Brodie Challenge Cup after defeating St Louis Grammar School (Ballymena) in the Vauxhall Senior U16 Cup at the Ballymena Showgrounds.'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

St Columb's College celebrate lifting the Malcolm Brodie Challenge Cup after defeating St Louis Grammar School (Ballymena) in the Vauxhall Senior U16 Cup at the Ballymena Showgrounds.'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

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FOUR local schools will take their places in the biggest day in schools’ football tomorrow when the N. Ireland Schoolboys F.A. stages its annual “Finals Day” in the Ballymena Showgrounds.

St. Columb’s College, no strangers to this festival, will again be joined by St. Joseph’s Boys, Foyle College and Holy Cross College, Strabane in what is the biggest occasion in terms of the schools’ game.

Titlted the Inspiresport Finals Day, the proceedings will kick-off at 11.00 a.m. with matches continuing throughout the afternoon.

And from a Derry point of view - and not for the first time - local schools have dominated the high profile Under-14 Cup Final with St. Columb’s facing St. Joseph’s in what’s expected to be a highly competitive affair.

St. Columb’s have also qualified for the Youth Under-18 Cup Final when they wil play Our Lady & St. Patrick’s (Belfast) while St. Joseph’s find themselves in yet another local derby when facing Foyle College in the Under-18 Plate Final.

For the Buncrana Road school, tomorrow’s trip has been something of an annual event.

“We’re delighted that our Under-14 and Under-18 have both qualified for their respective finals, the boys rewarded for their sterling efforts during the qualifying stages,” said James Green, one of the St. Columb’s coaches.

“And I think it’s also very important to note that St. Joseph’s Boys and ourselves, have already qualified for the Great Britain & Ireland finals which will be staged in Castlereagh this year.”

In fact, St. Columb’s College actually won the British Isles Championship four years ago and, no doubt, they will hope for another successful challenge.

“We’re looking forward to the finals and while we face a very tough match against St. Joseph’s, we know we cannot take anything for granted.”

Holy Cross College, from Strabane, will hope to dent Our Lady & St. Patrick’s hopes in the Minor Cup Final while St Columb’s College, with Under 18 schools internationals, Ben Doherty and Conor McDermott in their side, will fancy their chances in the Youth Cup Final.