After 124 games and 468 goals on Monday, the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup enjoyed a brief break as the 5000 competing players and team officials paraded across Londonderry’s iconic peace bridge.
Commenting at the parade, Brian McDowell, Sales and Marketing Director of Hughes Insurance, reflected on the success of the annual tournament.
“Hughes Insurance is proud to be title sponsor of the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup - which will be the biggest Foyle Cup ever this year,” he said.
“Most of the young players would have watched this year’s World Cup in Brazil and dreamt about playing on the big stage – maybe for some of these players, this tournament can be their first step towards that goal.”
In the early games on Tuesday the big match was at Oakland where Scottish big boys Celtic took on St Oliver Plunkett of Belfast in the U14 section.
After very little goalmouth action the breakthrough came halfway through the first half when Plunkett’s Ronan Hamill was caught in the box as he ran away from goal. The midfielder then kept his head and slotted his penalty home in the bottom right hand corner to make it 1-0. Celtic then turned up the pressure for the next ten minutes but couldn’t break through Plunkett’s defence with Harry Monaghan making a few close range stops as the half closed in.
Celtic stepped up their game at the start of the second period again and striker Jack Aitchison caught a volley perfectly to hit the back of the net after a scramble in the box to bring it level with 20 minutes to play.
Celtic weren’t going to stop there though as they went up through the gears and a couple of minutes later the ball was played into Aitchinson’s feet and he dropped the shoulder and swivelled to fire his team into a 2-1 lead with his second in as many minutes.
Unfortunately for the Belfast side, the ball stayed in their half for the majority of the second period with Celtic displaying further confidence as the game went on and the Glasgow outfit held on to the deserved 2-1 advantage at the final whistle.
The 5pm U15 match at Ardmore involved a highly rated Norwich City v Belfast side Loughside. It didn’t take too long for Norwich to impose themselves on the game when some early pressure saw the ball break at the edge of the Loughside box and Norwich’s Alan Fleming was there to rifle a screamer high into the far corner, leaving the Loughside keeper stranded in the middle of the net.
Midway through the first half there were echoes of Rio as the temperatures at Ardmore soared and the referee felt a thirty second water break was necessary. Obviously revived by the break, Loughside stepped up their game and Luke Watters found himself one on one 20 yards out and the number eleven kept his cool to smartly equalise for the team in all blue. It didn’t last long though as Norwich picked up the pace and a high ball in from the right left Jonathan Makong in space in the box and the striker turned his man cleverly to finish sharply from eight yards out. He then got his second minutes later when Connor Pearsons was played in down the right and the Norwich full back steered the ball across goal to leave an easy finish high into the net for the ever-present Makong.
The second half started a more even affair with the Belfast community side holding their own for a long spell. However, after a few Norwich substitutes the fresh legs told and Bilal Kamal was one of the changes that made a difference, curling a beautiful shot home from the edge of the eighteen. The fifth soon followed and it was Alfie Payne who finished from close range just before the second water break to put the game beyond all doubt. Goals six, seven, eight and nine followed for Norwich in the remaining minutes with Bradley Catton and Glenn Middleton (2) getting on the score sheet either side of Makong’s hat trick strike.
At Under 10, Oak Athletic won again to maintain their 100 per cent record and look on form for the quarter-finals.
In group B, Bertie Peacock Colts and Maiden City Academy are tied on 7 points and last 2 games tomorrow in the group will decide the group winners. Group C saw Glentoran and Dungannon win again - now having scored 38 goals between them. A similar situation happens in group G with St Oliver Plunkett and Killea both having 100% records going into final group games - something will have to give tomorrow. Bertie Peacock Youths and North End United also meet in a group decider.
At Under 11 Letterkenny Rovers look good value for progression having won their 3rd game 3-0 against Limavady.
The other groups seem tighter with Coleraine and Inishowen Colts being leading contenders in Group B, as are Bertie Peacock and Trojans in Group C.
Inishowen are scrapping it out with Culmore for the Foyle Cup knock place in Group D. Group E appears to be a three-horse race between Oxford, Dungannon and Top of the Hill.
In Group F, Peamount look invincible but Rosario will try and beat them in the final game to pip them to the coveted knockout place.
At Under 12, Shelbourne can Cavan/Monaghan both maintained their perfect records in the earlier games and look good value for a quarter-final place.
Waterford & Derry Colts know goal difference will decided which of them make the quarter-finals – with Waterford holding a three-goal advantage at present. At Under 13, in the earlier games Donegal Schoolboys maintained their 100% record and have scored 11 goals.
They now look like a leading contender but will be challenged by Foyle Haprs and North End United who both chalked up second wins today.
Matches continue on Wednesday at venues across Derry, Strabane, Limavady, Buncrana, Dungiven, Letterkenny & Moville.
Follow the tournament by downloading the Foyle Cup App in the Android and Apple App stores or by visiting http://results.foylecup.com
Tristar Colts 0 Killea Nixon Corner 4; Buncrana Hearts 3 Coleraine Colts 1; Kildrum Tigers 1 Coleraine FC 1; Oxford Colts 0 Dungannon United Youth 6; Kilmacrennan Celtic 3 Roe Valley FC 1; Corinthians FC 0 Shankill Juniors 3; Colin Valley FC 1 St Oliver Plunkett FC 2; Culmore 0 East Donegal Colts 5; Maiden City Colts 0 Glentoran Colts 9; Clooney Soccer School 4 Ballyraine FC 0; Bright Stars 2 Lifford Celtic 0; Tristar FC 0 Quigleys Point Swifts 0; Clonmany Shamrocks 3 North End United 5; Bertie Peacock Youths 2 St Oliver Plunkett Colts 1; Top of the Hill Celtic 1 Ballinamallard United 1; Gweedore United 1 Eglinton Eagles 0; Don Boscos 2 Shankill Colts 0; Milford United 1 Ballymoney United 4; Oxford FC 0 Sion Swifts 3; Oak Athletic 6 Cockhill Celtic 2; East Donegal Schoolboys 0 Bertie Peacock Colts 1; Ballymoor FC 4 Sion Colts 0; Lagan Harps 1 Limavady United 1; Maiden City Academy 1 Carniny Youth 1;
Ballymoor FC 1 Ballinamallard United 3; Top of the Hill Celtic 0 Oxford FC 4; Dungannon United Youth 1 Donegal Town 1; Letterkenny Rovers 3 Limavady United 0; Carndonagh FC 0 Bertie Peacock Youths 6; Don Boscos Colts 0 Lifford Celtic 0; Top of the Hill Celtic 1 Don Boscos Colts 1; Maiden City Academy 1 St Oliver Plunkett Colts 0; Foyle Harps 0 Sion Swifts 1; Donegal Town 1 Lifford Celtic 0; Oxford FC 1 Dungannon United Youth 3;
Kildrum Tigers 2 Ballymoney United 0; South Donegal Schoolboys 0 TW Braga 0; Roe Valley FC 0 Cavan/Monaghan Yth Lge 8; Inishowen Youth League 1 Carnmoney FDC 0; Oak Athletic 0 Shelbourne 5; Oxford FC 2 Ballinamallard United 2; Derry Colts 1 Waterford Schoolboys 1; East Donegal Schoolboys 2 Carniny Youth 2; Limavady United 0 Swilly Rovers 3; Maiden City Academy L Killea Nixon Corner L; Coleraine FC 0 Hearts FC 6;
Shankill Juniors 1 Maiden City Academy 2; Ballymoney United 0 Donegal Schoolboys 9; Foyle Harps 2 Ballymoor 1; Institute FC 0 North End United YFC 5; Coleraine FC 1 Sheffield United 0; Oak Athletic L Inishowen Youth League L; Oxford FC 4 Dungiven Celtic 0; Ardstraw FC 7 Arklow Town 2; St Oliver Plunkett FC 1 Mid Ulster Youth League 2; Carniny Youth 1 Strabane Athletic 0; St Patricks Castlederg 2 Bertie Peacock Youths 0;
Culmore FC 1 Shankill Juniors 1; Finn Harps FC 0 Maiden City Academy 0; Ridgeway Rovers 4 Strathroy Harps 0; St Oliver Plunkett FC 1 Celtic FC 2; Donegal Schoolboys 4 Newhill FC 0; Glentoran FC 4 Limavady United 0; Derry Colts 0 Inishowen Youth League 5;
Norwich City 9 Loughside FC 1; Finn Harps 2 Dungiven Celtic 0; Inishowen Youth League L Limavady United L; Oxford FC 5 Hillsborough Boys 1;
Ballymoney United 0 Drumkeen United 3; Institute FC 0 St Oliver Plunkett FC 1; Loughgall FC 0 Strand Celtic 1; Cliftonville FC 11 St Patricks Castlederg 0; Loughside FC 0 Willowbank FC 3
UNDER 13 GIRLS
Inishowen Yth League 2 Sion Swifts 1; Greencastle FC 8 Foyle Belles 0; Crusaders Strikers 7 St Patricks Castlederg 0; Donegal Girls 8 Inishowen Yth League B 1
Shankill Colts 0 Derry Colts 4
Oxford FC 1 Sion Swifts 3
Inishowen Youth League 3 Limavady United 0; Arklow Town 1 Bangor FC 2; Derry Colts 3 Strabane Athletic 1; Coleraine FC 0 NECSL 6; Shelbourne 1 Institute FC 0 UNDER 16
Foyle Harps 1 Donegal Schoolboys 4; Derry Colts 0 Inishowen Youth League 3
St Johnstone 0 St Oliver Plunkett 2; Foyle Harps 2 Finn Harps 0; Killen Rangers 2 Derry City 3; Hillsborough Boys 3 Ashgrove Rovers 0
Ballymoor FC 3 Finn Harps 1; Mountjoy United 5 Sion Swifts 0; Partick Thistle 2 Fanad United 1; Limavady United 1 Ballymena United 0; Institute 4 Letterkenny Rovers 0; Newtowne FC 1 Strabane Athletic 2; Altrincham FC 4 Oldpark Reds 1; Derry City 1 Inishowen Youth League 0
Sion Swifts 3 Derry City0; Illies Celtic 5 Roes Valley Ladies 1; Greencastle 1 Lagan Harps 0; Foyle Belles 3 Killen Rangers 4