Oxford United Stars Under-14 squad are on te cusp of securing what would prove a memorable “treble” success this season.
The local side, managed by coach, Pat Doherty, have again reached this year’s N. Ireland Boys’ Youth Cup Final and having lost out in this particular event last year, the local lads hope to go one better this time around.
But the talented local squad is also challenging for the N.I.B.F.A. National League title and, indeed, have qualified for the quarter-final of the N.I.B.F.A. Knockout Cup competition.
However, the total focus is now centred on this Monday’s Youth Showpiece Final which will be staged in the Ballymena Showgrounds against the young “whites” of Irish League side, Lisburn Distillery.
The game will have an 11.15 a.m. kick-off and, as was the case last year, Oxford hope to have a significant support at the game.
The prestigious Youth Cup competition, which involves all the boys’ clubs in Northern Ireland who are affiliated with the N.I.B.F.A., continues to prove highly competitive and Oxford have done particularly well to reach this stage for the second consecutive year.
Last year, at the same venue, the Derry boys lost out to a strong Dungoyne Youth team losing out after a five goal thriller (3-2) and, no doubt, the local side will not wish to experience the feeling which followed that that particular defeat in 2011.
In the first round of this season’s competition, Oxford travelled to Coleraine before recording a 4-2 victory before seeing off the challenge of Glendowan, also away from home, in the second round winning 4-0.
A superb 2-1 victory over Dungoyne followed at home before a trip to Carryduff Colts yielded a 4-0 wining result.
In the semi-finals Oxford did really well to end the challenge of Cliftonville on a 2-1 scoreline and while another Derry side, the Maiden City Youth Academy were in the second semi-final, they lost 2-1 to Lisburn Distillery thus ending hopes of an all-North-West final.
The best wishes of all football enthusiasts will travel with Oxford as the youngsters attempt to secure the first leg of what could prove to be an historic “treble” for the local club this season.