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Monday 06 Feb 2023
Holders St Columb’s off to flying start in Translink competition

Cup holders St Columb’s College and north Belfast school St Malachy’s College both registered 100% winning starts in the annual Translink Schools’ Gold Cup competition.

The Gold Cup, which is now entering its fifth year, involves eight schools from across Northern Ireland battling it out over three age groups to be crowned the number one school in the country. It is organised by the Irish FA Foundation and sponsored by public transport company Translink.

In round one in Group B St Columb’s overcame Holy Cross College Strabane in all three age groups (Under-13, U15 and U17) at home. The Derry-Londonderry school enjoyed a 2-0 victory at U13 level, while the games at U15 and U17 level were registered as 3-0 wins.

The other Group B fixtures saw St Malachy’s emerge victorious in three matches against east Belfast school Ashfield Boys’ High at the Blanchflower Stadium. The U17 encounter finished 3-1, however Ashfield suffered heavy defeats in the two other age groups.

In Group A north Belfast school Boys’ Model travelled to Laurelhill Community College in Lisburn in the first round of this season’s competition and the two schools produced three entertaining matches. 

Model secured a 2-1 victory in their U13 game thanks to goals from Calvin Fisher and Adam McCart.

In the U15 game Laurelhill opened the scoring early in the first half but it was Model who looked superior throughout, with Daniel Gordon scoring two either side of a Nathan Miskimmon strike to run out 3-1 winners.

In the final game of the day Laurelhill got their first win of the competition. They secured a 2-1 victory at U17 level thanks to a brace from Ethan Watson.

Also in Group A it was all square between Bangor Academy and east Belfast school Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock with each school recording a win and a draw.

It was a scoreless draw in the U13 encounter, while Bangor’s U15s won 4-0 and Our Lady and St Pat’s registered a 4-0 victory at U17 level.

The second round of the competition will be held at the end of this month when St Columb’s travel to Ashfield, St Malachy’s host Holy Cross Strabane, Bangor Academy travel to Boys’ Model and Laurelhill make the trip to Our Lady and St Patrick’s College.

The Translink competition involves eight post-primary schools in Northern Ireland who have been awarded the Gold Schools Quality Mark accreditation by the Irish FA Foundation.

Image: Representatives from the eight participating schools attended the launch of this season’s Translink Schools’ Gold Cup.