Donegal League headquarters at Ballyare and Curragh Athletic FC played host to the Donegal County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
The SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country.
1,245 students from 79 schools participated in the Donegal County Finals with just 6 schools progressing to the provincial finals.
The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had five passionate schools with the final between the talented Scoil Phadraig Dobhair team and Scoil an Choimin team.
Scoil Phadraig Dobhair triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with five teams involved. The final was eventually decided on by long long range strike. Scoil Fhionnain, Falcarragh proved a little too strong over a powerful Sessighaoneill NS side.
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between four very talented schools, St Patricks NS Lurgybrack eventually came out on top of the large school’s division thanks to a 3 goals to 0 win over Illistrin NS.
The winners will now progress to the Ulster Finals on 2nd May in Cavan.
Participation in the girls division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme reached an all-time high this year with 12,832 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered.
The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were held on Donegal League HQ where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Scoil an Chaiseal defeated St Nauls Inver in a really exciting and hard-fought match which ended 3 goals to 1.
In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, Scoil Chroine Dungloe sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from St Eunan's Raphoe.
Illistrin NS put in a fine display against Woodlands NS to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. Illistrin NS finished off the tournament with a 3 goals to 2 goal win and look in fine form heading into the Ulster Finals.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme competition has been in existence since the mid 1990’s.
The competition is run across six divisions, ensuring that schools of all sizes are catered for. Boys and girls are encouraged to play together but there is a separate competition for boys and girls dependent on school enrolment numbers.
Fergus McDaid, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our fourth year with title sponsors SPAR and the competition has grown yet again and now firmly holds the title of the largest primary schools’ competition in the country.
“SPAR’s ongoing support, both nationally and at a local level, has ensured the ongoing success of the programme and given 31,728 children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme.
“The programme encourages children to become involved in soccer at an early age and emphasizes the fun aspect of the sport. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 30th in Aviva Stadium.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2018,” he added.