FOYLE CUP DAY ONE: Hearts enjoy win over Maiden City

Maiden City Academy's Marc Dixon and Hearts' Josh Grigor
Maiden City Academy's Marc Dixon and Hearts' Josh Grigor

The 2014 Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup kicked off in the North West on Monday. With the increase in teams to a record 220 sides this year, the traditional quiet Monday has seen over 120 matches played in venues across Derry City, Strabane, Buncrana, Limavady & Dungiven.

It was a bright day at Nelson Park to start off the Hughes Insurance 2014 Foyle Cup as local side Maiden City took on Scottish hopefuls Hearts FC in the U12 section. It was the young Hearts side that started the brighter with a few long range efforts and the majority of possession in the opening ten minutes. Brennan Hulbert in the City goal was equal to everything thrown at him however as he commanded his box confidently with the help of Charlie White tidying things up at the back. The pressure did tell though on twenty minutes as Hearts playmaker Brodie Strang released Josh Doig on the left hand side and the number 10 lashed home a wonder strike with the outside of his left foot, leaving Hulbert helpless in Maiden’s goal. It then got worse for Maiden City, playing in all red, as a slick Hearts passing move and a mazy run from striker Connor Smith saw the number 6 slot home Hearts second just two minutes later. 2-0 at the break.

The story didn’t change at the start of the second period with Hearts keeping the ball in the Maiden half for long spells and after a few efforts off target Hulbert had to be sharp to keep out a fine free kick from Doig. Twenty minutes into the second half the killer blow came as once again Connor Smith made a defence-splitting run and dispatched the penalty after being hauled down six yards from goal. There were a few more half-chances in the last five minutes but all told it was a more than comfortable 3-0 win for the Hearts boys in the end.

The U13 tie at the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup between Sheffield United and Carniny Youth started at a fierce pace at Ardmore as the English side dominated early possession and took the lead just four minutes in. Reiss Harrison broke down the right hand side for United but his shot could only be parried into the path of Ben Harriet who finished calmly from six yards. The next ten minutes saw the Ballymena side come into the game more and they put pressure on the Championship outfit but it left them short at the back and a breakaway from pacey winger Tom Horsnall caught them unawares as he stormed down the left and bent his shot around Cairniny’s keeper to make it 2-0. It became worse for the local side just before the break however when Bailey Conway was in the right place at the right time for Sheffield as the left back finished high into the middle of the net after latching onto a low cross.

Things didn’t improve for Carniny at the start of the second half though as two quick-fire goals from Ben Harriet put the game beyond all doubt with just five minutes played. The first was a composed finish with the inside of his right foot and the second was a controlled header from a free-kick to complete the big striker’s hat trick. Not long after, the sixth goal arrived and star man Harriet was involved again, this time setting up Tom Weaver after a skilful run to give the midfielder a simple finish from just a couple of yards out. Weaver then got his second and Sheffield’s seventh minutes from time with a sweet chest and volley from the edge of the box to round off a dominant performance.

In the earlier games, there were some impressive scores and a deluge of goals. Glentoran Colts, Ballymoney United, Ballinamallard United, Bertie Peacock Youths and Dungannon United Youth are looking pacesetters at Under 10 - scoring 57 goals between them on day one (played twice each). When they start to meet in the knockouts it promises to be a feast of football. With Glentoran and Dungannon in the same group it could come down to their final group game on Wedneday at 3pm to see who makes the Foyle Cup Quarter Finals - a match not to be missed at Leafair 3pm. Ballinamallard in particular had a great opening day at their first Foyle Cup coming away with wins in both games today. They beat Clooney Soccer School 5-1 with goals from Oisin Gormley, Tim Magee, Scott Wallace, Ben Wilson & Alex Brownlee, and followed it with a 3-0 victory over Eglinton Eagles with Gormley scoring twice and the other from Jamie Steele. On the flip side it was a difficult day for Coleraine with two defeats to two very good teams in Dungannon Youths and Glentoran, despite dominating most of the opening exchanges with Dungannon. They will be hoping for better luck as week progresses.

At under 11, Trojans and Letterkenny Rovers both had good starts, winning 2 games each and getting a headstart on their opponents in the group. Other notable wins were for St Oliver Plunkett against Corinthians and Oxford FC over Don Boscos. Coleraine have also sneaked a lead in Group B with a 2-1 win over Ballinamallard as the other 2 games in the group ended 1-1.

At Under 12, Eircom League side Shelbourne had a useful opening win, 3-0 over Inishowen. Hosts, Derry Colts squeezed home 1-0 against Carniny Youth. Hearts may have some competition in their later group match when they opened with a 2-0 win over Killea. Academy side, TW Braga have set the pace in Group E with a 2-1 win over Kildrum. Finally in Group F both Ballinamallard and Cavan Monaghan had good opening wins against Oxford and Roe Valley respectively.

In the early games at Under 13 Coleraine, North End United from Ballymena, Dungiven Celtic and Foyle Harps got off to opening day wins.

Action resumes Tuesday, but before a ball is kicked the traditional opening parade will travel from Ebrington Square over the Peace Bridge and Derry Walls to Guildhall Square, where Mayor of Derry, Brenda Stephenson will welcome all the teams to the city. Parade kicks off at 11am sharp and will be the traditional festival of colour as 5000 footballers, referees and teams officials will take part.

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Under 10 - Bright Stars 0 Shankill Juniors 0; Roe Valley FC 2 Lifford Celtic 1; Clonmany Shamrocks 2 Bertie Peacock Youths 3; Culmore 0 St Oliver Plunkett Colts 7; Oxford Colts 0 Glentoran Colts 8; Coleraine FC 1 Dungannon United Youth 3; Kilmacrennan Celtic 4 Corinthians FC 2; Shankill Juniors 2 Roe Valley FC 1;North End United 3 East Donegal Colts 0; Bertie Peacock Youths 8 Culmore 1; Kildrum Tigers 0 Maiden City Colts 0; Glentoran Colts 7 Coleraine FC 0; Lifford Celtic 0 Kilmacrennan Celtic 2; Corinthians FC 1 Bright Stars 6; East Donegal Colts 2 Clonmany Shamrocks 1; St Oliver Plunkett Colts 2 North End United 3; Dungannon United Youth 5 Kildrum Tigers 0; Maiden City Colts 1 Oxford Colts 1; Tristar FC 6 Shankill Colts 0; Ballymoney United 3 Quigleys Point Swifts 1; Oxford FC 1 Cockhill Celtic 0; Lagan Harps 0 Oak Athletic 2; Clooney Soccer School 1 Ballinamallard United 5; Eglinton Eagles 2 Ballyraine FC 1; Milford United 2 Don Boscos 2; Shankill Colts 1 Ballymoney United 13; Limavady United 1 Sion Swifts 3; Oak Athletic 5 Oxford FC 1; Gweedore United 0 Top of the Hill Celtic 4; Ballinamallard United 3 Eglinton Eagles 0; Quigleys Point Swifts 1 Milford United 1; Don Boscos 2 Tristar FC 7; Sion Swifts 1 Lagan Harps 3; Cockhill Celtic 0 Limavady United 3; Ballyraine FC 1 Gweedore United 1; Top of the Hill Celtic 4 Clooney Soccer School 0; Ballymoor FC 3 Carniny Youth 4; East Donegal Schoolboys 1 Maiden City Academy 3; Tristar Colts 0 St Oliver Plunkett FC 4; Coleraine Colts 0 Killea Nixon Corner 2; Bertie Peacock Colts L Sion Colts L; Maiden City Academy L Ballymoor FC L; Buncrana Hearts L Colin Valley FC L; St Oliver Plunkett FC L Coleraine Colts L; Sion Colts L East Donegal Schoolboys L; Carniny Youth L Bertie Peacock Colts L; Colin Valley FC L Tristar Colts L; Killea Nixon Corner L Buncrana Hearts L;

Under 11 - Trojans FC 2 Hillsborough Boys 0; Carndonagh FC 2 Institute 0; Foyle Harps 3 St Oliver Plunkett Colts 0; Letterkenny Rovers 2 Maiden City Academy 1; Bertie Peacock Youths 3 Strabane Athletic 0; Institute 4 Trojans FC 8; Limavady United 0 Sion Swifts 1; Maiden City Academy 1 Foyle Harps 1; Strabane Athletic 0 Carndonagh FC 0; Hillsborough Boys 1 Bertie Peacock Youths 1; Sion Swifts 0 Letterkenny Rovers 3; St Oliver Plunkett Colts 1 Limavady United 1; Oxford FC 7 Don Boscos Colts 0; Donegal Town 0 Top of the Hill Celtic 2; Ballymoor FC 1 Glentoran FC 1; Inishowen Colts 1 Culmore FC 1; Corinthians FC 0 St Oliver Plunkett FC 5; Lifford Celtic 0 Dungannon United Youth 2; Coleraine FC 2 Ballinamallard United 1; Inishowen Youth League 2 Don Boscos 1; Tristar FC 0 Rosario FC 0; Peamount United 5 Killea Nixon Corner 0; Ballinamallard United 0 Inishowen Colts 3; Glentoran FC 0 Coleraine FC 1; Ballymoney United 2 South Donegal Schoolboys 2

Under 12 - TW Braga 2 Kildrum Tigers 1; Waterford Schoolboys 4 East Donegal Schoolboys 0; Ballinamallard United 10 Roe Valley FC 0; Killea Nixon Corner 0 Coleraine FC 2; Shelbourne 3 Inishowen Youth League 0; Hearts FC 3 Maiden City Academy 0; Carnmoney FDC 1 Oak Athletic 0; Swilly Rovers 0 Donegal Schoolboys 2; Ballymoney United 0 South Donegal Schoolboys 0; Carniny Youth 0 Derry Colts 1; Cavan/Monaghan Yth Lge 1 Oxford FC 0; Sion Swifts 2 Limavady United 3

Under 13 - Bertie Peacock Youths 0 Foyle Harps 2; Dungiven Celtic 1 Ballymoney United 0; Strabane Athletic 0 Coleraine FC 1; North End United YFC 7 Shankill Colts 0; Ballymoor 4 St Patricks Castlederg 4; Sheffield United 7 Carniny Youth 0; Inishowen Youth League 7 St Oliver Plunkett FC 0; Maiden City Academy 0 Ardstraw FC 1; Mid Ulster Youth League 2 Oak Athletic 1; Arklow Town 3 Shankill Juniors 1; Donegal Schoolboys 2 Oxford FC 1; Derry Colts 8 Institute FC 0


Under 10 - Bertie Peacock Colts 5 Sion Colts 0; Maiden City Academy 6 Ballymoor FC 2; Buncrana Hearts 2 Colin Valley FC 1; St Oliver Plunkett FC 8 Coleraine Colts 0; Sion Colts 0 East Donegal Schoolboys 5; Carniny Youth 5 Bertie Peacock Colts 5; Colin Valley FC 1 Tristar Colts 1; Killea Nixon Corner 1 Buncrana Hearts 0;

Under 13 - Maiden City Academy 0 Ardstraw FC 1

Under 15 - Institute FC 0 Norwich City 5; Derry Colts 1 NECSL 2; Dungiven Celtic 0 Arklow Town 5;

Under 17 - St Oliver Plunkett 0 Foyle Harps 3;

Under 19 - Partick Thistle 6 Ballymena United 0; Oldpark Reds 0 Derry City 3; Fanad United 0 Limavady United 2; Letterkenny Rovers 0 Newtowne FC 1; Altrincham FC 1 Inishowen Youth League 1; Finn Harps 1 Mountjoy United 0; Limavady United 1 Oxford FC 1; Institute 1 Strabane Athletic 3; Ballymoor FC 2 Sion Swifts 0;

LADIES - Derry City 1 Greencastle FC 3; Lagan Harps 2 Sion Swifts 4; Roe Valley Ladies 1 Foyle Belles 7; Killen Rangers Ladies 1 Illies Celtic 2;