Longford students show their class at SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme County Final

Longford Leader Sports Correspondent

Reporter:

Longford Leader Sports Correspondent

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Abbeycartron Lane played host to the Longford County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on Wednesday, April 18.

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. 400 students from 19 schools participated in the Longford County Final with just 6 schools progressing to the provincial finals.

The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 6 passionate schools with the final between the talented Tashinny NS team and Forgney NS team. Tashinny NS triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.

Also read: All the weekend's Combined Counties Football League results

The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 12 teams involved. The final was eventually decided on by a narrow margin. Stonepark NS proved a little too strong over a talented St Thresa's side.

The winners will now progress to the North Leinster Finals on April 26 in MDL Navan.

Participation in the girl’s division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme reached an all-time high this year with 12,832 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered.

Also read: Longford Town crash to first home defeat this season in slipping up against UCD

The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were held on April 18 in Abbeycartron Lane where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.

In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Dromard defeated Fermoyle NS in a really exciting and hard-fought match which ended 8 goals to 1.

In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, St Thresa's sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Melview NS.

Scoil Mhuire A put in a fine display against Scoil Mhuire B  to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools.

The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme competition has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has 31,728 participants from 1,528 schools involved this year. 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.

Fergus McDaid, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our fourth year with title sponsors SPAR and 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 31,728 children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. The programme encourages children to become involved in soccer at an early age and emphasizes the fun aspect of the sport. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 30 in Aviva Stadium.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2018.

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 local retailers around the county have been getting behind the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme, which encourages children to get involved in soccer in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”

Follow the action on social media via #SPAR5s or at www.faischools.ie and www.spar.ie.