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Thursday 04 May 2023
Cup glory for Edmund Rice College and Kilkeel High

This year’s Electric Ireland-sponsored Junior Cup final and Year 8 nine-a-side competition decider were superb advertisements for girls’ football in schools.

Edmund Rice College (Glengormley) and Kilkeel High School triumphed in the respective finals – but they were made to battle all the way.


The matches were staged consecutively at the Blanchflower Stadium in Belfast and pupils from the four participating schools created an electric atmosphere in the stands.

Kilkeel High School, who lost out in this year’s Electric Ireland Schools’ Cup for senior girls’ teams (Under-18) to Holy Cross College Strabane, were involved in a real ding-dong battle in the Year 8 competition decider.

The Co Down school were up against Blessed Trinity College (north Belfast) in the final.

Blessed Trinity took the lead on three occasions only for Kilkeel to reel them back in. Just after the interval Kilkeel made it 3-3 and looked the more likely to score in the second half.

The Belfast school held on to take the game into extra time. Kilkeel then scored a fourth goal before Blessed Trinity levelled. After that the sides could not be separated and it was on to a penalty shootout.

Like the match itself the penalties went back and forth but in the end it was Kilkeel who triumphed and made history in becoming the inaugural winners of the Year 8 (Under-12) competition.

In the Junior Cup final (U14) Edmund Rice College were up against Newbridge Integrated College (Banbridge).

Edmund Rice were looking to make a mark in their first campaign, while Newbridge were hoping to build on last year when they fell at the semi-final stage.

The match was a nervy affair. Chances were few and far between in the first half.

Edmund Rice opened the scoring after the interval, however Newbridge shifted up a gear and soon levelled.

The Glengormley school then restored their lead and that proved to be enough to secure the trophy on a 2-1 scoreline.

Damian McLaughlin, Schools and Futsal Officer with the Irish FA Foundation, said both finals had been excellent and thanked Electric Ireland for supporting both competitions.

He said the Year 8 final and competition had shown the benefits of getting girls involved in their school football teams as early as possible in the post primary environment.

“Next year we go again. We are excited to see these competitions grow, with more and more girls and schools getting involved. The future for girls’ football is bright,” he added.