SLIDESHOW: Inaugural Slemish Cup deemed a big success

Northend United’s inaugural youth football tournament, the Slemish Cup, proved to be an outstanding success for the ambitious Club.

Sixteen teams and 160 boys and girls battled out in the top youth tournament with Belfast side, Glentoran, coming out as overall winners in the keenly fought competition.

Northend '07 team with coach Alex McDonald at the Slemish Cup. INBT30-227AC

Northend '07 team with coach Alex McDonald at the Slemish Cup. INBT30-227AC

Many teams were using this tournament as final preparation for the Foyle Cup and almost all expressed their desire to return again same time next year for will be an even bigger and better tournament.

Teams participating in the tournament were Northend United, Coleraine Academy, Antrim Rovers, Chimney Corner, Ballymena United, Glentoran, Larne Colts, Northend Youth, St Oliver Plunketts, Barn United, Carniny Youth, Ballycastle United, Larne Youth, Carniny Amateurs, Ballymoney Academy and Northend Star 07.

The semi-finals of the main Cup competition saw Glentoran and St Oliver Plunketts narrowly beating Antrim Rovers and Ballycastle respectively. The final was eventually won by the famous East Belfast Club who just had the edge over their opponents.

The Plate final saw Coleraine Academy - for whom Ben McAuley won the es Gregg Memorial Player of the Tournament - beat Carniny Youth on penalties.

Northend would like to thank Essential Designs from Castledawson who were the main tournament sponsors and whose generosity made the tournament possible.

The Club would like to go on record to thank the 8 referees who volunteered on the day; the Order of Malta for providing essential first aid services, Sammy McCaig for his photographic services and also to the entire Showgrounds staff, especially Barney and Declan, who all made this a well organised day.

Tournament organiser Ally McGarry said: “I’m delighted the day went so well with all the hard work we put into it.

“Many teams expressed their thanks for their invitation to play in this competition and have already said they can’t wait until next year for the same again.

“Hopefully the competition will be even bigger and better next year,” added Ally.