12 Nov Ireland’s Best Ready For Champions Cup
IRELAND’S top schoolboy teams will kick-off the New Year in style when they take on their northern counterparts in an expanded DB Sports Tours Champions Cup tomorrow in Dundalk.
Five SFAI national cup winners, ranging from Under-12 to U16s, will each face the Northern Ireland Boys Football Association’s champions in their respective age groups on an action-packed day at Oriel Park.
The exciting competition began with as a two-legged single contest last last year, where, following a gripping clash at Tolka Park in December 2011, NIBFA top dogs St Oliver Plunketts saw off Shelbourne at Seaview in January to take the inaugural title at U-15 level.
Our expansion of the tournament comes hot on the heels of our recently signed three-year sponsorship deal with the NIBFA, so cross-border clashes between the south and north’s best look like becoming a regular occurrence.
Reigning U-11 and U-13 SFAI champions St Kevin’s Boys are committed to a club trip across the water to English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion so Crumlin United and Cherry Orchard take their places respectively.
Crumlin’s excellent U-12s fill in for Kevin’s against Glentoran FC in the day’s opening encounter at 11am, before a team we know a lot about from West Dublin face Plunketts in the U-13 clash at 12.
Mark Connolly’s St Francis Under-13s are reigning Manchester Easter Cup and Coca Cola Cup champions (both DB Sports Tours run tournaments).
Unbeaten and sitting top of the DDSL U13 Premier Division over Christmas, Francis are now looking to kick-off 2013 in style against Plunketts – who they beat in last summer’s Coca Cola Cup semi-finals.
It promises to be an exciting year for Connolly’s young charges who we will be taking back across the water again over the Easter break to face Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Bury.
We are proud to announce that in order to help Francis raise funds for that trip DB Sports Tours has organized for two our good friends from the football world to take part in a Legends Night on Friday February 22.
Former Ireland and Liverpool star Ray Houghton and treble winner with Manchester United David May will be in Boomers Pub in Clondalkin for the fundraiser and we invite everyone to come along and show their support.
The Orchard’s U-14s narrowly missed out on U-13 DDSL Premier Division success last season and will hope to make up for it against Plunketts at 1pm.
The U-15 contest at 2pm is a highly-anticipated one, with Templeogue United’s league and national champions facing Crusaders FC, before Plunketts have a third team involved on the day against Malahide United in the U-16 final at 3pm.
CHAMPIONS CUP SCHEDULE
U12′s (2001′s) Crumlin United v Glentoran FC, 11:00AM KO – 20 mins e/w
U13′s (2000′s) ST.Francis FC v ST.Oliver Plunketts 12:00 – 25 mins e/w
U14′s (1999′s) Cherry Orchard v ST.Oliver Plunketts 1:00 – 25 mins e/w
U15′s (1998′s) Templeogue Utd v Crusaders FC – 2:00 – 30 mins e/w
U16′s (1997′s) Malahide Utd v ST.Oliver Plunketts 3:00 – 30 mins e/w