Huge Donegal success at Foyle Cup in Derry

Huge Donegal success at Foyle Cup in Derry
There was a stream of silverware coming over the border from the Donegal entrants at the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup in Derry.

There was a stream of silverware coming over the border from the Donegal entrants at the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup in Derry.

Letterkenny Rovers lifted the Cup U-11 crown, while the Donegal Schoolboys took home both the U-13 and U-14 Cups.

The two Girls Cups were also won by Donegal teams with the Donegal Girls lifting the U-13 crown and the Greencastle ladies won the U-18 crown.

The competition came to an end on Saturday with the traditional finals day.

Over the entire week, the tournament was a true festival of football - with over 700 games, 3000 goals and overall less than 20 dismissals - a testimony to the sportsmanship shown by teams and officials.

The Donegal Women’s League U-13 team claimed the first ever girls trophy at the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup , they claimed victory with a 2-0 final win over rivals Inishowen with goals courtesy of Catherine Grier and Amy Boyle Carr.

In the final against a strong Inishowen side Donegal took the lead on 10 minutes when Catherine Grier nodded home from a Boyle Carr corner giving the Keeper no chance.

In the second the defensive partnership of Sarah Harkin and Michelle Mc Devitt stood firm at the back.

A quick break would undo the Inishowen team once again and Boyle Carr would fire an unstoppable shot high into the net to seal a super win for the Donegal side.

In all it was a fine performance from this young side and to be the first name on the trophy was a fine achievement. Squad : Claire Friel , Michelle Mc Devitt , Sarah Harkin, Kelly Ann Buchannan , Lauren Carr , Catherine Grier , Amy Boyle Carr , Kirsty Bogle , Laura Dugera , Ridechell Doherty , Molly Page , Gemma Mc Fadden and Aishling Irwin

The Greencastle ladies won their competition thanks to a 1-0 win over Sion Swifts.

On Friday, the Letterkenny Rovers U-11 side held their nerve to defeat Peamount United from Dublin 3-1 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

The team was managed by managers Brian ‘Barlow’ Gallagher, Michael Boyle, physio Del Plumb and assisted by Anthony Gorman.

Finals day on Saturday was dominated by Donegal Schoolboys who made all four finals on Saturday -making this their most successful tournament ever.

In the end they had to settle for splitting the titles with Belfast, winning the U-13 and U-14, whilst Glentoran won the U-12s and Cliftonville with U-16.

First up was the U-13 at Ardmore and after a frantic opening to the game a whipping corner off the boot of Mark Walsh caused havoc in the Sheffield United box, so much so that the ball was turned into the net via their own defender.

Conor O’Reilly came closest first in the second period when he cut inside and dragged an effort wide off his left and Mark Walsh worked the keeper again with an effort from range.

Action then moved the Brandywell and the U-14 final and although the weather had dulled a little, the spirts remained high at the Brandywell as there was plenty of great football on the cards at the home of Derry City.

Glentoran were edging the possession of the ball but there was an obvious threat from Donegal as they looked pacey and dangerous on the break. It was the Glens though that got the opener in the final, all be it from a seemingly inconspicuous position. Lorenzo Dawkins had an ambitious strike from distance but the ball skidded off Eoin O’Boyle’s gloves and Josh Tipping was there to poke the ball home and put the Belfast lads 1-0 up.

When the game got back underway, the flow changed as Donegal needed to push on to try and get an equaliser. After sustained pressure, they eventually got an opening but Matthew Anderson pulled off a wonder save to match Joe McGill’s vicious strike from inside the Glentoran box.

James Carolan tried to get on the end of anything he could for the Schoolboys but after being played through it was Ryan Cunningham who could only draw a superb double save from the impressive Anderson at close range. Ben Redpath came on in the later stages for the Glens and the number seven made a difference to hold the ball up and the 1-0 lead proved to be enough in the end as they held on to take the U-14 title home to Belfast.

The third final of the day saw the U12’s take to the pitch with Cavan/Monaghan Youth League taking on Donegal Schoolboys to battle it out for the cup.

Both young teams had great support as the atmosphere inside the Brandywell was electric at kick-off. It remained goalless in the first 15 with the two teams getting to know each other and defenders coming out on top in most battles.

With so much at stake, both sides were keeping things tight and it was a cagey affair for a lot of the first half. Donegal were the closer of the two sides in terms of chances as they hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.

Stephen Black and Carlos O’Reilly rattled the crossbar from distance but the Youth League held on and the score remained 0-0 at the break.

Referee Noel O’Donnell must also get a mention as the official took charge of his last game in a great career, his time spanning an amazing 23Foyle Cups.

After almost constant pressure the opener came for the Schoolboys. Donal McBride came up from the back for a free kick and made no mistake with his finish as the ball fell to him after a scramble in the box.

This spurred them on further and the second goal soon followed, Gerard Duffy was on the edge of the box to finish well after the ball broke from a Youth League clearance. The midfielder almost tied up the game minutes later too with a wonder volley that struck the bar. After this it was very comfortable for Donegal, the Schoolboys running out deserved Foyle Cup U12 champions with a 2-0 victory at the final whistle.

The fourth final of the day took place at the Brandywell stadium in the U-16 section.

Donegal Schoolboys faced Cliftonville as they had a team in all Saturday’s finals but this was the big one, taking on the renowned Irish League team.

Ciaran Seacroft seemed to be the only bright spark for Cliftonville and after being involved down the left he won a corner which led to a Donegal mistake and Martin O’Lali was there to take advantage, smashing his team 1-0 in front.

With just eight minutes remaining when Jack McLaughin followed up a parried shot by Donegal’s Anthony O’Hagan to have the simplest of finishes.

In the end the two goals were enough to see it through though as the Belfast boys were rewarded for their hard work.

Meanwhile, Kildrum Tigers took home to U-10 Foyle Shiels after a 1-0 win over Colin Valley from Belfast with Josh Martin scoring the only goal of the game at Magee University.

In the U-11 competition that was won by Letterkenny Rovers, Donegal Town were celebrating victory in the Foyle Shield after their 2-1 win over Glentoran FC.

South Donegal Schoolboys were unfortunate to lose out in the U-12 Foyle Plate when they went down to Carnmoney FC.

In the U-13’s, the Inishowen Youth League were the winners of the Foyle Plate after a fine 3-0 defeat of Oxford FC.

The U-14 competition’s Foyle Plate final saw the Inishowen Youth League fall just short as they went down to Newhill FC on penalties, 4-3, after a 1-1 draw.

In the U-15 Foyle Plate, Finn Harps went down in the final, by two goals to nil, against Shelbourne.

The Ballybofey club were similarly out of luck in the final of the Foyle Plate in the U-17 section when St Oliver Plunkett beat them 3-2.

In the U-19’s the Inishowen Youth League lost 1-0 to Limavady United in the Foyle Plate and Fanad United came out on top again Oldpark Reds on a 3-2 scoreline in the Foyle Shield.