Sligo’s third North West Cup soccer tournament saw fourteen teams and over 250 players compete for glory. The event saw teams from Galway, Longford, Sligo and Mayo battle it out for the North West Cup at under 12 and under 14 level. The quality of the football was fantastic with some of the regions top clubs taking part in the tournament.
The under 14 tournament was a close affair with Strand Celtic edging out local rivals Ballisaodare United in the final courtesy of a late goal from the tournaments top scorer, Shane McCallion. The goal came too late for Ballisodare to come back with both teams out on their feet after a tough days tournament football.
Earlier in the tournament both sides had played out a scoreless draw to illustrate how little there was between these two teams. Indeed only a superb penalty save followed by two other outstanding saves by Strand keeper Jack Burke kept the games scoreless. For Ballisodare Ryan Phillips and Mark Hannon showed some fine form. In the shield final Arrow Harps with a large squad emerged as winners over a strong Ballymote Celtic side.
Saturdays under 12 tournament was a close affair with very little between all of the teams and a very high standard shown by all teams. Perhaps most encouraging all the teams tried to play by keeping the ball on the ground with a refreshing band of football on display.
The group stages saw a number of close games with Real Tubber and Strand Celtic to the fore in group A. Young Adam Kerrigan from Real Tubber caught all the spectators eye with his free kick from fifty yards in their two one defeat to rivals Strand Celtic. Despite that wonder goal a Ryan Smith and Leo Doherty goal saw the home side advance to the semi finals as group winners with Real Tubber in second place.
Arrow Harps and Melview qualified for the Shield semi finals. In the other group Ballina Town were the dominant force and qualified as group winners with Ballinasloe Town emerging in second place.
The semi finals were different games with Ballinasloe Town edging out the home team with a narrow 1-0 victory. Meanwhile Real Tubbers group exertions told as they fell to a heavy defeat to Ballina Town. In the final Ballina continued their good form with a two one victory over Ballinasloe courtesy of some excellent play by Dylan Munnelley.
In the shield final the spoils were taken by Longford side, Melview, who beat local team Ballisodare United.
Sincere thanks from the North West Cup committee to all the volunteers who worked over the weekend, Sligo Leitrim and District Junior League, Sligo Leitrim and District Schoolboys and Schoolgirls league and the local referees society. Also thanks to all the teams who took part and for their continued support of the North West Cup.
U12 Player of the tournament, as voted by the match officials, was presented to Ballina Towns Dylan Munnelley. U14 Player of the Tournament was Mark Hannon from Ballisodare. The player of the tournament was selected by the match officials during each game.
Under 14 North West Cup Winners – Strand Celtic (Sligo)
Under 14 Norht West Cup Runners up – Ballisodare (Sligo)
Under 14 North West Shield Winners – Arrow Harps (Sligo)
Under 14 North West Cup Runners Up – Ballymote Celtic (Sligo)
Under 12 North West Cup Winners – Ballina Town (Mayo)
Under 12 North West Cup Runners Up – Ballinasloe Town (Galway)
Under 12 North West Cup Shield Winners – Melview (Longford)
Under 12 North West Cup Shield Runners Up – Ballisodare United (Sligo)