The annual Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup has kicked off in Derry and Strabane Council area. Over the period of 6 days, 278 teams will compete in 853 games scheduled across the North West area, including Donegal.
This event has gone for strength to strength and now ranks as possibly Ireland’s finest Youth soccer tournament, having established a quality reputation for the standard of its playing surfaces, quality of team entry and level of organisation.
There has been great excitement in anticipation of the event , particularly amongst kids in the younger age groups who are exceitedly looking forward to competing with the best that British clubs can offer – clubs such as Celtic FC, Matherwell FC, Partick Thistle FC, Norwich City FC and FDSuomi from Finland.
Returning this year from the US are Everton America and Rampo Valley both of whom got to the semi final of the tournament in 2013. Donegal Schoolboys who had a very successful event in 2014 declared their early intentions with a convincing 5 1 victory over local Irish League side, institute in the U13 section.
In the U15 section Crusaders FC have already established himself as tournament favouritesin this age group with a more than convincing victory over fellow Irish League counterparts Coleraine FC.
Norwich City FC V Glenavon FC
The 5pm kick off in the U15 section saw Premier League new boys Norwich City take on Lurgan side Glenavon in the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup. The game got off to a flying start with both teams competing fiercely. Glenavon matched the English side in the early exchanges but a moment of real quality saw Norwich take the lead just inside the first ten minutes. Louis Lomas found himself in a yard of space on the edge of the box and let fly into the opposite corner to make it 1-0. This seemed to give encouragement to the Lurgan Blues as they upped their levels and got right back into the game. Chris Singleton was rewarded for his bright movement up front as he rounded the keeper from a long ball and kept his composure to equalise. It was that man Singleton again five minutes later who put the Lurgan outfit ahead, latching onto another overhead ball to slide in his second from six yards out. Glenavon kept the ball well and saw out the remaining minutes of the half comfortably, leading 2-1.
The second half saw Norwich come out of the blocks a little quicker, the Canaries realising they needed something more to break down a resilient Glenavon. After some half chances, the equaliser finally came for City, Shaye La Rose finishing smartly under the keeper to level things up. Again though the Blues kept their heads up and responded within two minutes. Lewis Smylie smashed a free kick which took a deflection and whizzed beyond a helpless keeper in the Norwich net. Glenavon had to stay resolute for the inevitable onslaught and Ryan Dowling was kept busy between the sticks. A rare second half breakaway however saw Ross Hull pick up the ball and loft a perfectly weighted strike over Harvey Simson to open a two goal lead. Nov Sonybruce got one back for the English side but the Lurgan boys defended admirably to wrap up an impressive upset in their first group game.
Trojans V Waterford Schoolboys
It was a drizzly start to the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup 2015 as local side Trojans FC took on Waterford Schoolboys in the U13 section. The highly rated southern side started favourites as the Derry boys set out to cause an early upset. It didn’t take long however for Waterford to impose themselves on the game. Tireoghain Flynn slotted home from six yards after Kacper Zajac’s volley could only be parried by the Trojan’s keeper. All the action was taking place in the Derry half as the Schoolboys kept the pressure on and dominated possession. The second goal followed soon after as Jack Taylor’s shot from the edge of the box trickled into the bottom corner to make it 2-0. It was 3-0 within a matter of minutes as Waterford began to really take control, Ravelli Kilonda taking advantage of a tap in on twelve minutes. The pressure was non-relenting and Waterford showed their class again a couple of minutes later. Sean Daly curled in from the corner of the box and the ball nestled in the bottom corner, 4-0. Kilonda was causing all sorts of problems down the right hand side and the nippy winger got his second with a sweetly struck volley to leave it 5-0 at the break.
The second half started as the first finished, with more magic from Kilonda. The number six danced his way past the Trojan’s defence to set up Zajac and the captain turned and finished smartly. Waterford made changes half way through the second period and the fresh legs had an impact. Ian Byrne came off the bench and his shot from the edge of the box was too hot to handle as he bagged the seventh. The Schoolboys were kept at bay for a short while but with five minutes to go they scored the goal of the game. A clearance fell to Timi Sobowale and the big midfielder cracked a superb strike into the top corner from twenty five yards out. William Halpin rounded off the scoring for Waterford in the last minute to cap an emphatic 9-0 victory.
For a full list of results visit the Foyle Cup Match Centre website. http://results.foylecup.com