The finalists for this season’s National Finals Day have been confirmed after the Irish FA delivered three 11-a-side regional schools’ tournaments for girls.
The three events were aimed at promoting opportunities within the girls’ game, from grassroots clubs to the international women’s team. Valley Leisure Centre in Newtownabbey hosted an Antrim and Belfast heat with Lisnagarvey High School (Lisburn), Parkhall College (Antrim), Hazelwood College (Belfast), St Genevieve’s High School (Belfast), St Louise’s Comprehensive (Belfast), Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock (Belfast) and Glengormley High School taking part.
St Louise’s Comprehensive stood out with some excellent team displays, while St Genevieve’s High were also excellent on the day and deservedly finished as runners-up.
In the Fermanagh and South Tyrone heat, held at Omagh Leisure Centre, Holycross College (Strabane) dominated the competition with Devenish College (Enniskillen) following close behind.
However, Aughnacloy College and Fivemiletown College showed some impressive skills in a high quality competition. The Armagh and Down heat was the biggest event.
Staged at Londonderry Park in Newtownards, it featured eight schools divided into two groups. Group A winners St Joseph’s College (Belfast) played Group B runners-up Kilkeel High School in the first semi-final.
The game went to extra-time with St Joseph’s scoring late on to book their place in the decider. In the other semi Group B winners Assumption Grammar (Ballynahinch) eased past Group A runners-up Nendrum College (Comber).
In the final Assumption demonstrated why they had won every match, producing some excellent football to win the game against St Joseph’s 3-1.
The teams competed to represent their respective areas at National Finals Day, which will be held in February.
The finalists are: St Louise’s Comprehensive (Belfast), St Genevieve’s High (Belfast), Holycross College (Strabane), Devenish College (Enniskillen), Assumption Grammar (Ballynahinch) and St Joseph’s College (Belfast).
Jackie Blyth, Football For All Schools Officer with the Irish FA, said: “The development of each team was a testament to the progress of all the girls that played.
There was also excellent assistance from the referees who explained each decision so that the players understood the laws of the game. The tournaments proved to be a great success and the Irish FA will continue to run them every school year.”
Image: Assumption Grammar from Ballynahinch won the Armagh and Down heat.