INSTITUTE: Success and failure comes at a cost

Institute's Aaron Harkin in possession against Limavady United during the recent Craig Memorial Cup final played at Moyola, which in the end cost both clubs money. INLV0116-056KDR
Institute's Aaron Harkin in possession against Limavady United during the recent Craig Memorial Cup final played at Moyola, which in the end cost both clubs money. INLV0116-056KDR

The Craig Memorial Cup Final between Institute and Limavady United came at a heavy cost for both clubs.

It has only emerged that both clubs were given a receipt stating that they would receive zero from the North West Football Association in terms of prize money.

The association stated that after paying for the usage of Moyola Park’s Mill Meadow ground and the four officials were paid taken out of the gate receipts, meant that neither Stute nor United would get any prize money.

After the Boxing Day showdown was called off late on due to a waterlogged pitch at Tobermore United’s Fortwilliam Park, the final was switched to Moyola, however that just meant that things went from bad to worse for the Drumahoe men, as they were down £500 on transport alone for the final, after they had to pay for two buses.

A spokesman for the North West admitted they took some responsibility for the Boxing Day postponement, but they were disappointed with the poor crowd which came out to watch the Roesiders claim the cup a few days later.

“We as an association do accept some of the blame for the match being called off at Tobermore on Boxing Day,” he said.

“At the end of the day it’s our responsibility, it’s our cup final, we should have had the pitch inspected early in the morning, so because of that we as an association are responsible for that.

“However we were disappointed by the poor turn out and yes we understand the bad weather forecast didn’t help, but while the weather was bad in Castledawson that night, it wasn’t as bad as it was in Derry and Limavady and that probably meant people didn’t fancy making the trip.”

As for Stute chairman Bill Anderson was bitterly disappointed by the whole situation.

“It’s a competition, which cost the club money and you get nothing for it,” he said.

“The Craig Memorial Cup obviously has other repercussions like potential injuries, you are paying players’ salaries and often you are having to travel away from home, with more costs.

“I know there’s a tradition associated with it and it should be the North West’s Premier Cup competition at Intermediate level and the Craig Memorial Cup should be the showpiece final for North West football but unfortunately it’s not.

“The North West region deserves a cup competition to be played like the Steel & Sons Cup, because it’s our equivalent.”

United themselves were far from happy with the state of affairs with a club spokesman offering their view on the whole affair.

“When we got the receipt in from the North West FA of course we were surprised to see that we made nothing from the game,” he stated.

“There is no prize money on offer, unlike the other regional trophies in Belfast and up in Armagh.

“When you add in the travel to Moyola, Tobermore and Strabane plus hosting Trojans then we are out money.

“We are out money that’s for sure, just how much I can’t put a figure on it but it’s hundreds of pounds anyway.”