A Northern Ireland Under-15/U14 girls’ development squad put in some solid performances at the Foyle Cup this week - in the boys’ U13 section.
They won five out of the six games they played at the international youth football tournament.
First up for Stephen Graham’s team was a game against Maiden City Colts at Clooney Park West 1 in Derry-Londonderry on Monday. The girls won that one 4-2 thanks to goals from Ava Hurl (two), Charlotte Havern and Grace McAllister.
On matchday two, against Sion Swifts at The Glebe in Strabane, they scored four once more. Havern and Hurl both netted again, while Emilee Leacock and Aoife Gargan got the other goals in a 4-1 victory.
Their third game in Group K brought a third victory. They topped their group after defeating Cootehill Harps from Co Cavan 1-0 at Prehen Playing Fields in Derry-Londonderry on Wednesday. Abbie Smyth was on target for Northern Ireland.
Even though they won their group, unfortunately their goal difference was not enough to enable them to enter the main competition for the Foyle Cup (top eight teams in the group stages).
Instead they were placed in the Foyle Plate competition where they lost out 1-0 to Ballymoney United at St Columb’s Park in Derry in their first game yesterday before registering a 2-1 win over Oxford United, with Hurl and Ruby Adair grabbing the goals at Prehen.
This afternoon they defeated Cliftonville 2-1 at Redcastle in Co Donegal. Leacock scored a penalty in the first half, while Smyth grabbed the winner after the break.
It meant they finished 13th overall out of 56 teams in the U13 boys’ section.
More than 450 teams from across the island of Ireland, Britain, the rest of Europe and North America took part in this year’s week-long Foyle Cup.
Sponsored by sportswear firm O’Neills, and run in association with Derry City and Strabane District Council, the tournament features 16 categories, ranging from U8 to U19 for boys’ teams plus five girls’/ladies sections.
Each year Foyle Cup matches are staged across Northern Ireland's North-West and in Co Donegal.
The Northern Ireland WU15/U14 squad for the Foyle Cup was as follows:
Goalkeepers – Madison Bell (Linfield Ladies), Zara McAvoy (Glentoran Women).
Defenders – Chloe Beckinsale (pictured), Sophie Geddis and Daisy Moore (all Crusaders Strikers), Lily-Brooke Wallace and Grace Campbell (both Linfield Ladies), Holly Hilton (Glentoran Women).
Midfielders – Charlotte Havern, Lauren Morrison and Abbie Smyth (all Linfield Ladies), Emilee Leacock and Heidi Curran (Crusaders Strikers).
Forwards – Mirjana Karrabecaj, Grace McAllister, Ruby Adair and Aoife Gargan (all Linfield Ladies), Ava Hurl (Magherafelt Sky Blues).
Image: Northern Ireland international Demi Vance cheered on the development squad at yesterday’s Foyle Cup games.