Thrilling football on show as SFAI Skechers Ulster Regional Finals take place on Cootehill
There was some fantastic football on show in Cootehill last weekend as the SFAI Skechers Ulster Regional Cup Finals took place across Saturday and Sunday.
The opening tie saw Carndonagh FC and Kilmacrennan Celtic do battle in the U12 Final, and it was a single goal that separated the teams at the final whistle.
Ciaran Conaghan netted the all important winner for Celtic when he brilliantly headed home a perfectly deliver cross from the right.
Carndonagh FC, to their credit, pushed hard for an equaliser, but last year’s winners could not find the breakthrough.
In the second Final of the day, Qiuigleys Point Swifts faced Keadue Rovers in the U15 competition, and those in attendance were treated to a cracking cup tie.
Rovers raced into a three goal lead, and looked set for the win, but when QPS pulled a goal back, they were still very much in the tie.
However, a fourth for Keadue ensured they took home the cup, with their football on the day demonstrating the skill and ability of the players involved.
The goalscorers for Keadue Rovers were Michael Curran, Oran Gallagher, Ethan McCaffrey and Aidan Brennan.
The opening day of the SFAI Skechers Ulster Regional Cup Finals was brought to a close by Cappry Rovers and Bonagee United in the U16 showpiece event.
Goals from Daniel Marley and Sean Breen were enough to see Rovers over the line, with the game ending 2-1.
On Sunday Carrick Rovers and Illistrin FC were pitted against eachother in the U13 Final, and the quality of both teams was evident from the first minute.
It was Illistrin that raced into the lead, with Carragher Friel and Fintan Hasson hitting the back of the net, before Carrick pulled one back before the interval.
After that Leanne McGettigan came off the bench to make it 3-1 with a powerful strike, but Rovers again battled back and made it 3-2.
The final minutes of the tie were frantic, but Illistrin held on and added the SFAI Skechers Ulster Regional Cup to the three domestic titles they had already won.
The U16 contest between Cavan Shamrocks and Ballyraine FC brought the weekend to a close, and it was the Shamrocks that were celebrating at the final whistle as they etched out a 2-1 win after extra time.
In what was the tightest of games over the weekend, both teams gave their all, and even in additional time, there was no sense that either team was ready to relinquish their grasp on the match.
However, Cavan Shamrocks proved to have the edge, bagging the winner in extra-time.
A huge thanks to all who attended from Cavan/Monaghan, Donegal and Inishowen, to all at Cootehill Harps for their hospitality, and to the teams and their coaches for making it a weekend to remember.