Cup holders St Columb’s College continue to have a 100% record in the annual Translink Schools’ Gold Cup competition.
The Gold Cup, which is in 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 Group B in round one St Columb’s overcame near neighbours Holy Cross College Strabane in all three age groups (Under-13, U15 and U17) at home.
And in round two the Derry-Londonderry school tasted victory in all three age groups once again. This time their opponents were Ashfield Boys’ High from east Belfast.
In the U13 match - all three games were staged in Belfast - St Columb’s (pictured) won 3-1 thanks to goals from Stephen Coyle, Lucas McCloskey and Eoghan Curran, while Zach Cowan scored for Ashfield.
In the U15 game St Columb’s had an emphatic 7-0 win, while it took a late Riley Fitzpatrick goal in the U17 encounter for the Buncrana Road boys to make it three wins on the day.
Holy Cross Strabane travelled to St Malachy’s College in north Belfast in the other Group B game.
The Strabane side struggled at both U13 and U15 level (losing 5-0 and 10-1 respectively), however in the game of the day they came out 4-3 winners at U17 level. It was the first defeat for St Malachy’s at any age level in this year’s competition.
Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock had a successful second round in Group A with three impressive wins over Lisburn’s Laurelhill Community College.
The east Belfast school did not concede a goal in their three games. The U13 match ended 2-0, the U15 result was 3-0 and the final scoreline in the U17 fixture was also three-nil.
In the other fixtures in the group Belfast Boys’ Model and Bangor Academy had three very competitive games, with Model defeating Bangor 4-3 at U13, Bangor winning 4-3 in the U15 game and a 2-2 draw played out at U17 level.
The results in the second round have set up a massive Group B game where St Columb’s travel to St Malachy’s in a top of the table clash, while Ashfield will be in Tyrone to face Holy Cross.
Meanwhile, in a very open Group A, Model are set to host Our Lady and St Patrick’s and Laurelhill travel to Bangor Academy.
Round three matches in the Gold Cup are due to be played after the Easter school holidays in mid-April.
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.