Louth students show their class in SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme County Final
Dundalk FC played host to the Louth County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme on Wednesday, April 5.
The SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. Almost 1,000 students from 42 schools all over Louth participated in the competition this year with 21 schools coming back for the Finals Day in Oriel Park with just 6 progressing to the regional qualifiers in Navan.
The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 5 passionate schools involved with the Final between the talented St. Fursey’s NS and Scoil Naomh Lorcan. It was St. Fursey’s triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 5 teams involved. The Final was between St. Peter’s NS, Dromiskin and Ballpousta NS with a strong St. Peter’s team taking the title 3-2 in a fantastic game of football
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard fought contest between 5 really talented schools. Bay Estate eventually came out on top of the large schools division thanks to a superior goal difference from St. Joseph’s NS, Drogheda who pushed them all the way.
The winners will now progress to the North Leinster Finalson April 27 in the MDL Grounds in Navan.
Participation in the girls division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s programme reached an all-time high this year with 11,272 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered nationwide.
The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were held on the same day in the fantastic indoor facility in Oriel Park where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Bellurgan defeated Scoil Naomh Lorcan in a really exciting and hard fought match.
In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, Ballapousta sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Callystown on a 3-1 score-line
St. Mary’s NS, Droghedaput in a fine display against a very good Bay Estate team to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. St. Mary’s had 4 teams across the 6 finals but the girls where the only team to qualify for the North Leinster finals proving how difficult it is to get through.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has 28,256 participants from 1,483 schools involved this year, a 19% surge from last year. The competition is run across six divisions, ensuring that schools of all sizes are catered for. Boys and girls are encouraged to play together but there is a separate competition for boys and girls dependent on school enrolment numbers.
Fergus McDaid, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our third year with title sponsors SPAR and the competition has grown yet again and now firmly holds the title of the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. SPAR’s ongoing support, both nationally and at a local level, has ensured the ongoing success of the programme and given Louth children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. The programme encourages children to become involved in soccer at an early age and emphasizes the fun aspect of the sport. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 31 in Aviva Stadium. We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2017.
Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said, “As a community based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of primary schools’ soccer in association with the FAI. SPAR local retailers around the county have been getting behind the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme, which encourages children to get involved in soccer in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”
SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
South Leinster: April 25, Bunclody AFC, Wexford (Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow)
Mid Leinster: April 26, Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Laois (Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny)
North Leinster: April 27, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath (Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford)
Ulster Final: May 03, Monaghan Utd FC, Gortakeegan, Monaghan
Connacht Final: May 04, Solar 21 Park, Milebush, Castlebar, Mayo
Munster Final: May 10, TBC
Leinster Final: May 11, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath
National Final: May 31, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
For more information:
Diane Fay, FAI Schools - Diane.Fay@fai.ie / 086 0404 952
Jennifer Kelly, PSG Sponsorship – Jennifer.Kelly@psgsponsorship.ie / 085 1076806
Scott Graham, PSG Sponsorship – Scott.Graham@psgsponsorship.ie / 086 3687548