Clare students show their class in SPAR FAI Primary School 5s County Finals Day
Active Ennis Sports Complex played host to the Clare County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme last Tuesday, April 4. 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.
Over 800 students from 60 schools participated in the Clare qualifiers but this was whittled down for the Finals Day with just 6 schools progressing to the provincial finals.
The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 42 passionate schools with the final between the talented debutantes Rineen National Schooland Annagh National School. The debutantes Rineen triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 18 teams involved. The final was eventually decided when Barefield National School proved a little too strong for a Newmarket NS side.
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard fought contest between St. Conaire’s NS, Shannon and Sixmilebridge NS. Eventually after an exciting group stage contest it was St. Conaire’s Shannon that eventually came out on top of the large schools division.
The winners will now progress to the Munster FinalsMay 10 with the venue to be confirmed
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 and same venue where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, the very impressive Annagh National School captured their third title in a row when they defeated Clohane’s National School in a really exciting and hard fought match which ended 3 goals to nil.
In the Girls ‘B’ Cup final, for medium sized schools, Ballyea NS sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Sixmilebridge NS.
Holy Family Senior School, Ennis put in a fine display against Ennis National School and St. Conaire’s National School to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools.
The FAI County Development Officer Denis Hynes thanked all who assisted in the delivery of the regional qualifiers and the Clare Finals Day and wished the winning schools every success in the Munster Finals
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme competition 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 Clare 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.”
Winner Runner Up
‘A’ Cup | Small Schools | Rineen NS Annagh NS
‘B’ Cup | Medium Schools | Barefield Newmarket on Fergus
‘C’ Cup | Large Schools | St. Conaire’s Sixmilebridge
Girls ‘A’ Cup Annagh St. Clohane’s
Girls ‘B’ Cup Ballyea Sixmilebridge
Girls ‘C’ Cup Holy Family Ennis NS
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, Co. 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