Cavan students show their class in SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme County Final

Media Release

Friday, April 12, 2019




Cootehill Harps FC played host to the Cavan County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on the 10th of April. 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. 36,616 students from 1,691 schools are contesting the SPAR 5s this year, 1,200 of which hail from Cavan. Through a series of local qualification rounds just 6 schools progress from a hard-fought Cavan County Final onto the provincial finals.


The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 5 passionate schools with the final between the talented St Marys Arva National schooland Scoil Mhuire Lacken. St Marys NS Arva triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.


The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 4 teams involved. The final was eventually won by Farnham National School who proved a little too strong over a talented Butlersbridge NS side.


The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between 2 very talented schools. St Marys NS Virginia eventually came out on top of the large school’s division.


The winners will now progress to the Ulster Finals on May 8th in Ballyare, Co. Donegal.


The rise in the number of girls putting boot to ball has been particularly pleasing for sponsors, SPAR, as 39% of participants are now female. Participation in the girl’s division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme reached an all-time high this year with 15,344 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered making it more competitive than ever.


The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were held on the 10th of April where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.


In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Ballynarry National School defeated Ballinamoney National School in a really exciting and hard-fought match which ended 3 goals to 1.


In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, St Anne’s National School Bailieborough sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Farnham National School.


St Marys NS Virginia put in a fine displayto progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. St Marys NS finished off the tournament tied on points at the top of the group and progress to the Ulster Finals with the decision going to goal difference. They are in good form ahead of the competition.


The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has increased student participation levels by 14.5% since 2018 up to 36,320. 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.


Dave Archbold, Honorary Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our fifth year with title sponsors SPAR and I am delighted to report that 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 36,616 children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 29th in Aviva Stadium.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2019.”  


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 retailers in Cavan have been getting behind theSPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme, which encourages children to get involved in football in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”


Follow the action on social media via #SPAR5s or at and






SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme





Ulster Final: May 8th               Donegal League HQ, Ballyare, Co. Donegal

Connacht Final: May 9th        Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Munster Final: May 14-15th   Seanchoill Sports Complex, Corbally, Limerick                     

Leinster Final:May 16th         MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath



National Final: May 29th        Aviva Stadium, Dublin


For more information:

Diane Fay, FAI Schools -|086 0404 952

Ross Murphy, Teneo – | 086 0717652