Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association Youth Under 18 Cup

Congratulations to Grosvenor’s 1st XI football team which prevailed in the final of the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association Youth Under 18 Cup against Ballyclare High School, held at Ballymena Showgrounds on the afternoon of Wednesday 27th April. 

The team, captained by outgoing Head Boy Stuart Graham and coached by the School’s Head of History Mr Darren Tomkins, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the match and always looked the more likely team to score, both during the eighty minutes of normal time as well as the additional twenty minutes of extra time. Despite rattling the post during the first half through centre forward Josh Kelly and centre back Cameron Scates also going close with a bullet header from a free kick in the second, Grosvenor, not helped by a substandard playing surface, were unable to put the ball in the back of the net as Ballyclare, who offered very little offensively, defended stoutly throughout.

With the scores even at four apiece following the first five penalties, the shootout was ultimately decided by ‘sudden death’, with Lower Sixth pupil Kurtis Elliott converting the crucial spot kick after goalkeeper Tim Larmour had produced three outstanding saves to put his team on the verge of victory, to bring the trophy back to Grosvenor for the fourth time in the School’s proud history.

Grosvenor’s participation in Wednesday’s final came following a string of impressive performances in the earlier rounds, with victories over Impact Training College (5-1; Round One), St. Patrick’s, Belfast (1-0; Round Two), R.B.A.I. (4-1; Round Three), Bangor Academy (2-1; Round Four), St. Joseph’s, Belfast (2-1) in the quarter final and a standout 6-0 defeat of Boys’ Model in the semi-final taking the team to Wednesday’s final.

Many congratulations to all twenty members of the squad who have represented the team throughout the competition, as well as assistant coaches Mr David Kerhohan and Mr Martin Winters who have ably supported Mr Tomkins throughout the season. A further notable feature of the final was the incredible support which spurred the Grosvenor boys on to victory, with approximately four hundred loyal ‘Grosvenorites’ making the journey to Ballymena to provide enthusiastic and vocal support throughout. 

Following such a memorable and dramatic victory in this year’s final we wish Mr Tomkins and his talented coaching team the best of luck as they now set about masterminding the team’s defence of the trophy next season.

Grosvenor's entire squad of players and coaches following their victory over Ballyclare High School in the final of the 2016 Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association Youth Under 18 Cup 

Grosvenor's victorious players celebrate following Kurtis Elliott's winning penalty in the shootout at this year's final.