It will be the clash of the undefeated schools on matchday two in this year’s Translink Schools’ Gold Cup when Belfast’s Boys’ Model travel to St Columb’s College in Derry-Londonderry on 15 December.
The annual cup competition, which involves the eight post-primary schools across Northern Ireland who have been awarded the Gold Schools’ Quality Mark accreditation by the Irish FA Foundation, involves schools playing each other across three age groups (U13, U15, U17).
On matchday one, staged last month, Boys’ Model impressively saw off Bangor Academy in all three age groups at home, while St Columb’s travelled to near neighbours Holy Cross College (Strabane) and notched up three wins in Group 1.
However, Holy Cross will feel that they should have got something from the day with the U15s going close in a 3-2 defeat and the U17s also going down by a single goal in a tightly contested game.
In Group 2 Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock won two and drew one of their games away to east Belfast neighbours Ashfield Boys’ High. Those results left the current trophy holders top of the group going into the next round of fixtures.
Also in that group Belfast’s St Malachy’s College and Laurelhill Community College (Lisburn) could not be separated, with both winning a game apiece and drawing the other.
Ross Redman, the Irish FA Foundation’s Schools’ Development Officer, said: “Matchday one was a fantastic advert for schools’ football. It was great to see the competition back up and running with very close and competitive games.
“I am looking forward to seeing the next set of games later this month when the competition will really start to take shape.”
Bryan McLoughlin from Boys’ Model said: “We are delighted to be involved in the competition and would like to thank Translink and the Irish FA for the hard work in getting it going this year.
“We had three very competitive games with Bangor Academy and were happy to get the wins. We now look forward to going away to St Columb’s. It will be very difficult against a fantastic school who are strong at all age groups.”
Translink Schools’ Gold Cup Results - Matchday 1
Boys’ Model v Bangor Academy: U13 5-0; U15 5-1; U17 3-1.
Holy Cross Strabane v St Columb’s College: U13 1-4; U15 2-3; U17 3-4.
Ashfield Boys v Our Lady and St Patrick’s: U13 1-1; U15 0-1; U17 0-1.
Laurelhill v St Malachy’s: U13 3-3; U15 5-4; U17 0-4.
Image: The U13s team from Laurelhill in Lisburn who drew with St Malachy’s on matchday one in the Translink Schools’ Gold Cup.