Foyle College U18 football secured the Inspiresport Youth U18 Plate after defeating St Joseph’s in the final, at Ballymena Showgrounds.
In difficult weather conditions the team played a backs to the wall first half with Matthew McClelland making an outstanding save early on to thwart the St Joe’s attack.
Midway through the half a high ball was dropped by the opposition keeper and Sam Hughes was on hand to turn the ball into the net.
Against a strong wind and determined opposition, Foyle had battled to a half-time lead.
The second half was a much more open affair and the solid and assured back four of Foyle allowed the midfield and forwards more time and space. The game was effectively won in a five minute burst involving two free kicks.
The first was parried by the keeper before Robbie House slammed the ball home to double Foyle’s advantage. Even better was to follow as Jack McNeill scored a spectacular 25 yard free kick to make it three nil and Foyle were in dreamland.
A couple of minutes later the ball broke to Stephen Mills and he chested the ball under control before slotting home.
There was still some defending to be done but when the whistle blew to signal the end of the game there was no denying that the better team had triumphed. A first football trophy for Foyle and their proud captain, Alex McDonnell lifted high the trophy.
This squad have been outstanding throughout the cup run, scoring 22 goals in securing the prize.
It was a really good day for North West schools at the Northern Ireland Schools FA Cup Inspiresport Finals Day.
St Columb’s College continued its proud tradition in the NI Schools FA Cup by completing a magnificent ‘double’ at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
The Buncrana Road school defeated Derry rivals, St Joseph’s Boys School in the Under-14 showpiece with Cornshell lad, Jordan McEneff, ex-Institute midfielder Aaron’s younger brother, proving to be the hero with a brace of goals, including a dramatic extra-time winner.
And the College Under-18 representatives went on to secure the double for the Londonderry school when Institute’s Ben Doherty netted the winning goal in a tightly contested final against Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock from Belfast.
Holy Cross, Strabane were the other big winners on the day, winning the U12 Final against Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock to ensure a third Schools Cup trophy was brought back to the North West.
St Columb’s College teacher Mr James Green was delighted with the achievements of the College boys in what is the biggest occasion in terms of the schools’ game in Northern Ireland.
And he was thrilled to add to the school’s rich history in the competition.