Donegal Schools made it a north west double with their success at the McDaids Football Special Foyle Cup yesterday.
Donegal Schools and Cavan/Monaghan took the honours in the under-16 and under-12 finals respectively at a sun-drenched Brandywell on finals day after Derry City had secured the under-19 trophy on Friday night. SPL side Celtic , as expected, came out on top in the under-14 competition.
Donegal Schools were looking to make it a Foyle Cup double after their success in the competition a couple of years ago as they reached the final of the under-16 event.
And the decider was an all-Irish affair with Waterford Schools standing between the Donegal men and the trophy.
It was Donegal that started the brighter and they went ahead through an own goal from Jack Hale, only for Mark Walsh to equalise within just two minutes.
Waterford then had a header cleared off the line whilst Donegal were denied a last gasp winner, twice, once from a header and the other by yet another tremendous save by Sam O’Neill from the penalty spot.
A second penalty for a pull of a jersey, gave Conor Whittle the chance to atone for his earlier miss and he made no mistake this time with a winner for Donegal which left Waterford no time to respond.
Holders Celtic enjoyed a largely trouble-free passage to yesterday under-14 final and the Sottish Premier League side were strongly fancied to make it back-to-back successes.
They progressed to the final at the expense of St Oliver Plunkett’s from Belfast where Aberdeen awaited them having accounted for fellow Scots Hearts in their semi-final.
Celtic went ahead 10 minutes when a long ball out of defence found No 10 Aiden Nesbitt who volleyed home for the opener.
After 18 minutes No 14 Connor McLaren put Celtic two ahead from the penalty spot to put the holders firmly in control.
Aberdeen rallied in the second half but it wasn’t to be as Celtic retained their hold on the cup.
Cavan/Monaghan who had beaten Linfield and Hearts took on last year’s winners NW Coleraine Youth League to determine the winners of the Under 12 McDaid’s Football Special Foyle Cup.
Cavan/ Monaghan, under the stewardship of former Derry City and Finn Harps player, Tom Mohan, and with a large vocal support, took the lead from a tenth minute penalty goal from No. 9, Lee Haughian.
NW Coleraine had to be alert on 20 minutes, saving well from a shot by Lee Hannigan.
NW Coleraine did get parity when Sean McBride was sent clear and made no mistake.
And the Coleraine side missed a glorious chance to regain the lead when, with the goalkeeper stranded, their forward contrived to under hit the shot at an open goal, allowing the defender to get back and clear.
The second half yielded no further scores taking the tie to kicks from the penalty mark. Cavan/Monaghan YL triumphed 4-3 to lift the cup.
The Under-19 McDaid’s Football Special Foyle Cup Final played at Ardmore on Friday evening between Derry City and Donegal team, Bonagee United, was keenly contested until the latter stages when City finally took complete charge and ran out 6-1 winners.
Derry’s strength was clear to all, able to field the likes of current season first team member, Thomas McBride.
The Bonagee Utd goalkeeper performed heroics in the first half to keep the score to 1-0 at half time. 15 minutes into the 2nd half Derry were 2 up following the award of a penalty kick.
It was an uphill struggle from then on for the Inishowen men who did manage a consolation goal but could not contain a rampant City who ran out comfortable winners in the end.